This past week is the time of year when many people throughout the world think more about Jesus Christ than almost any other time, second only to Christmas. In contrast to Jesus’ birth, however, there is more confidence about the timing of his death, burial, and resurrection, since he was crucified during the weekend of the Jewish Passover.
It is encouraging to see an increased interest in Jesus, especially when this annual interest leads people to pursue a relationship with him that changes their lives.
Almost two thousand years have passed since Jesus died, but the event has as much significance now as it did when it happened. The event finds its meaning because three days after the crucifixion, the tomb was empty. Thousands of people—many of them good people—were crucified by Rome, but only One came back to life. Many good people lived and died, but only One lived sinlessly, died willingly, and was raised victoriously.
At the tomb he conquered death and gave us hope of eternal life. So we celebrate the empty tomb today. We will think of his body as we eat the bread and think of his blood as we drink the wine. Throughout the Supper we will reflect on the fact that Jesus died for sins and that he was resurrected to give us new life.
In a very real sense, we celebrate the resurrection every day, because it affects absolutely everything that we do. Since we have been “raised with Christ,” we “seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God” (Colossians 3:1). Our entire existence revolves around a small, unoccupied tomb somewhere outside the walls of Jerusalem.
So let’s celebrate the resurrection today as we worship. Then let’s celebrate it again tomorrow as we walk with the risen Lord at work or school. Let’s reflect throughout the upcoming weeks and months on the assurance that since he was raised from the dead, we too will one day be raised from our own graves to live with him forever.
Today we exclaim with Peter: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
That praise finds its expression in our lives every day of every week.