We heard these words and their echo on Easter Sunday morning. The lilies trumpeted the rising of the King as we gathered with friends and families to celebrate the lynchpin of the Christian faith.
So why is it that only a few days later the call “He is Risen” fades away in silence? Where is the echo? Where is the antiphon? Where is the commitment to live in the message of risen grace?
There were three types of people who witnessed the resurrection. The skeptics who preferred the whole thing to go away. The bystanders who watched the week unfold with mild interest. And the faithful who must have been shocked to see the empty tomb.
Which one are you? The Skeptic among us may even be part of our fellowship, enjoying the benefits of community but not really on board for what the message means. “This church thing is alright, but I don’t really get the rest of it.”
The Bystander probably gets invoked a fair amount more often. The community for some is about routine, service and connection. Witnessing what the 20% do is sufficient for them. “Please don’t ask me to get really involved.”
And then there is the Faithful. Even the faithful on that Easter morning were confused. “What does this mean that He is raised from the dead?” That is the question for your baptism. “What does this mean?”
This means that when sadness taps you on the shoulder, you have a risen hand to comfort you. This means when the diagnosis is lousy, you have risen arms to caress you and remind you He is the healer. This means when your relationship has left you alone, your children hurt your feelings, your job stinks, there is a risen Christ to calm you down and face the darkness of the tomb with you.
The resurrection doesn’t make your life only warm and fuzzy. But it does give your life hope, the expectation that because Jesus rose from the dead, He is God the Son, and His promise of eternal life is a truth for you who believe.
This is the difference between the Faithful and all of the others. When we see life from the emptiness of the tomb we are Risen to serve others in hope instead of being afraid that we need to care for ourselves.
That is our greatest fear, that no one will care for us if we don’t. But the resurrection ended that. The resurrection is God’s way of reaching into your tomb and dragging you out to start living life today, now, in the warmth of the Savior’s heart.