The church season of Easter lasts fifty days. On the fiftieth day after Easter Sunday the church celebrates Pentecost. This is the day when God sends his Spirit into the church. Empowered by the Spirit every Sunday we celebrate the risen Christ.
Jesus resurrection changes our starting and ending point. Our life starts when we are born again in our baptism. Instead of living a life that is bound by death we recognize that life in this body is temporary. We are eternal. Jesus suffered and died to pay the price for our sin. He rose from the dead and ascends into heaven. He prepares a place for us. Jesus has risen. He conquered death. We will live with him eternally.
Our earthly suffering and struggles are finite. Our life with Christ is infinite. We are part of the God's eternal kingdom.
Philip Yancey writes:
"There are two ways to look at human history, I have concluded. One way is to focus on the wars and violence, the squalor, the pain and tragedy and death. From such a point of view, Easter seems a fairy-tale exception, a stunning contradiction in the name of God. This gives some solace...There is another way to look at the world. If I take Easter as the starting point, the incontrovertible fact about how God treats those whom he loves, then human history becomes the contradiction and Easter a preview of ultimate reality. Hope then flows like lava beneath the crust of everyday life." (
The Jesus I Never Knew p. 219-220)
The reality of the resurrection shapes our life. We are more than conquerors. Nothing can separate us from the love of Christ. St Paul in his letters boldly proclaims what it means to have faith in the risen Christ. Out hope is not in vain. We are the redeemed and chosen children of God, now and eternally.
We participate in the death of Christ. We die to sin daily. We also participate in his resurrection. Daily we rise to a newness of life. God is working in us and through us to proclaim Christ crucified and the resurrection reality. We are empowered with the Holy spirit and equipped with spiritual gifts to live our faith in the risen Christ.
There is an Easter song by the sung by the Bill Gaither band that rattles around in my head when I am facing challenges. The verse is simple and straight forward. It is also very true.
"Because he lives; I can face tomorrow; Because he lives; All fear is gone; Because I know he holds the future; And life is worth the living; Just because he lives."
We celebrate the resurrection of Christ every Sunday in worship. God empowers and equips us through the Word and Sacrament. We rely on the saving act of Christ on the cross. This gives us confidence to stand before our God as his beloved children. The reality of the resurrection gives us the hope and confidence that we will be victorious and live with Christ eternally. Jesus conquers death. We are more than conquerors through the crucified and risen Christ.