Christ the Lord is Risen Today, Hallelujah!

Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone was rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here.” -Mark 16:2-7a

Growing up, I never understood exactly what we celebrated on Easter Sunday. We would get up early, hunt for our Easter baskets, eat pancakes before the church service, and then spend the rest of the day with family. I really liked church on Easter Sunday because it meant a new dress and an Easter bonnet, and because we got to sing one of my favorite songs (Halle, Halle, Halle… for all of you at Faith). But amidst all of this, I never grasped the enormity of Christ’s death and resurrection. (And I still don’t completely understand it.)

But I’ve come to understand the magnitude of this better in the past few years. Jesus did nothing wrong – he was sinless. God’s law required a blood sacrifice for sin and it could only come from a pure source. And Jesus willingly gave himself as that sacrifice for every person. But even though he died, he was more powerful than death and he rose! What victory!

This is what Easter is all about. I’m not sure what Easter traditions we’ll experience next year in Bolivia, but they probably won’t include pancake breakfasts and those songs we sang as kids. And that’s okay.

Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia!
Sons of men and angels say: Alleluia!
Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia!
Sing, ye heav’ns and earth reply: Alleluia!

Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia!
Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia!
Dying once He all doth save, Alleluia!
Where thy victory, O grave? Alleluia!

Love’s redeeming work is done, Alleluia!
Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia!
Death in vain forbids Him rise, Alleluia!
Christ has opened Paradise, Alleluia!

Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia!
Soar we now where Christ has led, Alleluia!
Following our exalted Head, Alleluia!
Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia!

Christ the Lord is Risen Today, by Charles Wesley from The Hymnal for Worship and Celebration

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