“Praise the Lord, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever. Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 117:1-2)
Early on Sunday morning, just about the break of day, Mary and some other women came to the tomb where Jesus had been buried. However, the stone was rolled back and the tomb was empty. The Son had risen just as he had predicted many times.
In fact, this “Resurrection” Sunday was planned by God to be the culmination of Jesus’ mission to save people from sin and death. From the start of his public ministry, Jesus knew he would be killed and that he would rise to live again. He told this fact to the religious leaders who were trying to kill him.
“So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking about the temple of his body. When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.” (John 2:18-22)
Jesus also knew that he would die on a Roman cross after a mockery of a trial. Just a few days before his arrest and death, he said to the temple crowds and his disciples: “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (John 12:32)
Jesus spoke of himself as the “light of the world” (John 8:12) and by his willing sacrifice he has opened the door for all people to follow him, receive forgiveness, and obtain the hope of eternal life.
“For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:11-12)
When Jesus stretched his arms wide on the cross, darkness appeared to have defeated him. But the reality of “Son-day” burst open the tomb and the light of the world came forth! His light is still shining bright for all men to see. We proclaim “He is Risen” and just like on that first day of the week 2,000 years ago, he can rise in your heart today. Our desire is that you will see Jesus, the bright and morning star, and be drawn to him. We invite you to come and see for yourself.
“And we have the prophetic word more fully confirmed, to which you will do well to pay attention as to a lamp shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts,” (2 Peter 1:19)