Devotional

Christ Is Risen Indeed (12 April)

Very early on Sunday morning the women went to the tomb, carrying the spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the entrance to the tomb, so they went in; but they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. They stood there puzzled about this, when suddenly two men in bright shining clothes stood by them. Full of fear, the women bowed down to the ground, as the men said to them, "Why are you looking among the dead for one who is alive? He is not here; he has been raised. Remember what he said to you while he was in Galilee: 'The Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, be crucified, and three days later rise to life.'" Then the women remembered his words, returned from the tomb, and told all these things to the eleven disciples and all the rest. The women were Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and Mary the mother of James; they and the other women with them told these things to the apostles. But the apostles thought that what the women said was nonsense, and they did not believe them. But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; he bent down and saw the grave cloths but nothing else. Then he went back home amazed at what had happened.
Luke 24:1-12

The Lord is an awesome God. From the time of the humble birth of our Savior in Bethlehem, the town has changed so much. However, the Lord remains the same, and he manifests his power through the most difficult of circumstances. As we celebrate the resurrection life of Christ every year, we are assured of Jesus' victory over the forces of evil and powers of darkness, not just at Easter time, but every day of our lives. That is certainly a reason to celebrate! Just as Jesus triumphed over death, so he wants us to know these same things in our lives; to know the overflowing of God's power, to know that we can triumph over the difficulties that we face.

Easter in the Holy Land is a much awaited and celebrated occasion, and not because of the commercial trappings of the West. There is a beautiful simplicity in the way the traditions are upheld, traditions that convey the truth that Jesus has risen, with all that this means in our lives. People take the time to visit one another in their homes and to declare that "Christ has risen. He has risen indeed!"

It is good to declare the truth of who Jesus is in our lives. So here, in this land which continues to be bound by many problems-economic, political, and religious-the reality of the freedom of a God who conquered the grave, becomes ever more poignant. We live in times when the powers of darkness seek to overcome everything. But the light of Jesus Christ is always superior. Let us hold firm to our tradition of declaring that Christ has risen, emphasizing the joy of the risen Lord in our lives and in the lives of our families, friends, and relatives.

- 12 APRIL -

© 2012 United Bible Societies - Palestinian Bible Society, Bible Society in Israel, and Arab Israeli Bible Society. All rights reserved.