Easter 2018: “The Lord Has Risen! He Has Risen Indeed!”

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     Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. This inheritance is kept in heaven for you, who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. In all this you greatly rejoice. 1 Peter 1:3-6a (NIV)

Risen and reigning Lord Jesus, this morning we join the Apostle Peter’s exuberant declaration of living hope and great joy. For you have risen from the dead. Hallelujah!

Your resurrection isn’t just a “game changer”; it’s an everything-changer. Because of your resurrection, we’re no longer afraid to die, for you have conquered death. And we’re not afraid to live, for we’ve been raised to eternal life in you, with you, and for you.

We’re not hapless vagabonds, making our way on earth; we’re heaven-destined children of Abba, Father. We’re no longer enslaved to our sins and guilt; we’re robed in your righteousness and citizens of heaven. Because you were raised, we’re less to be pitied than anybody, and more to be grateful than everybody (1 Cor. 15:14-19).

Lord Jesus, you are the firstfruits and fulfillment of every promise God has made. The “new creation” world of redemption and restoration has now broken into history and, one Day, will come in fullness. “Everything sad will come untrue,” and all things broken will be made new. Hope defines our future, not hype; truth, not myth; peace, not chaos; joy, not spin; beauty, not brokenness.

Now risen, you reign as King of kings and Lord of lords. All evil dominions and malevolent powers have been defeated; and will be fully eradicated. The Day of no more death and dying, cancer and crisis, war and worry, meanness and illness is coming. That Day cannot arrive too soon; but arrive, it most definitely will.

Oh, the wonder, marvel and gratitude that fills our hearts today, Jesus. We are forgiven, beloved, and yours. In light of your compelling love and measureless grace, free us for spending the rest of our days living and loving to your glory. So very Amen we pray, Lord Jesus, in your triumphant and grace-full name.

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