"He Has Risen!"
March 29, 2024, 1:41 PM

He Has Risen!

The Rev. Lou Tiscione, Pastor, Weatherford Presbyterian Church (PCA)

“He has risen; The Lord has risen indeed” (Luke 24:6, 34)! We read these words so easily. We even might hear them used to gather God’s people for worship on Easter Sunday. The angel told the women that Jesus wasn’t there, in His tomb. The angel told the women Jesus was not among the dead, but the living.

After Jesus opened the eyes of His disciples, they declared to each other, “The Lord has risen, indeed!” May you all celebrate the great festival of the bodily resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ with your church families. This historic event, the bodily resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of the Christian faith.

What actually happened is revealed in the word of God written. The Apostle wrote in 1 Corinthians 15 that there were many eyewitnesses of His empty tomb. In Paul’s day he stated that there were over 500 witnesses of Jesus after His resurrection.

There is so much importance placed upon the event of Jesus’ resurrection that the Apostle Paul said that if it was not true, the entirety of the Christian faith was useless, mere hot air.

If Jesus did not get out of the grave, if His bodily resurrection was not an historic fact, He would either be a liar or a madman. C.S. Lewis gave three options for the resurrection of Jesus. He said Jesus was either a mad man, a liar, or He was who He said He was!

Christians must be clear and non-compromising on this fact. A dead man got out of his grave. The body buried was the body raised up. But there were some reported differences between Jesus’ earthly body and His resurrected body. He traveled long distances instantaneously. He was able to pass through locked doors. But He also ate food and was recognized by those to whom He spoke. Finally, He ascended, “a cloud took Him” out of the sight of His disciples. There is a glorified man in heaven. This glorified man is very God and very Man. He is the second person of the Trinity. He has all authority in heaven and on earth!

The Bible describes the resurrection body as an imperishable one. One that is glorious and perfect. One that is immortal. The Bible says that Jesus is the “first fruits” of those who have died.

The Christian faith affirms that there is a man in heaven! His name is Lord Jesus. He has a physical, yet immortal and glorious body. He is declared to be the God-Man, the only begotten One of the Father, not made but eternally proceeding from the Father.

The truth of Jesus’ bodily resurrection gets even better. It gets better for all who belong to Him. The Apostle Paul said that Christians don’t grieve over death as others do who have no hope because we know that death is the entrance to paradise. When Jesus comes again, and He will, we will receive resurrection bodies like His.

As a minister of the gospel and a Christian, I would be remiss if I did not tell you the “down side”, and there is a terrifying “down side”. The Bible says that all the dead will be raised on the last day, which is when Jesus returns. Those whom God chose have their names written in the “Lamb’s book of life”. By His grace alone they will live in glory with Him forever. Alleluia! But (and this is a big “but”) those not covered by the perfect righteousness of Christ and His perfect sacrifice for sin will live forever in a physical state in the “lake of fire” which is eternal hell.

I urge you to take this event and the truth it affirms seriously. It is a matter of life and death. Jesus declared that this time between His first and second coming is the “year of the Lord’s favor” (Is. 61:1-2a, Lk. 4:19). This is the time that God has provided for men to receive His salvation through Jesus as He is offered in the gospel. This is the time to be spared the wrath of God.

God’s promise of glory is certain and the cross of Christ has secured our inheritance. Christ’s bodily resurrection is the proof that Christ’s sacrifice was accepted by the Father. The cross is the only satisfaction of and appeasement for the wrath of God which all men deserve!

“He is Risen. The Lord is Risen Indeed!”