“He is risen!” Response: “He is risen indeed!” What appropriate greetings on Easter, or better called Resurrection Day, morning.
Back about 2,000 years ago, before Christianity existed, Jesus’ disciples were puzzled and fearful. They had thought Jesus – the Messiah – whom they had followed, would very soon deliver them from Roman domination. However, he had been crucified. Would they be next? So they were together behind locked doors.
Jesus had plainly told them several times that he would suffer, die and then three days later be resurrected. But because they were so sure he had come to deliver them from Roman control, they apparently let his words go in one ear and out the other. We shouldn’t do that either!
Jesus’ tomb had been well secured and guards stationed to be sure no one came to steal his body and claim he had been resurrected. On the third day there was a violent earthquake and an angel rolled away the stone that had secured the tomb. “The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.” (Matthew 28:4 NIV) So much for security when supernatural forces are at play!
On the evening of that third day, Jesus appeared to his disciples and said, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! … This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms. …The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations.” (Luke 24:38-47 NIV)
We can read all about Jesus’ death and resurrection in the final chapters of the Gospels: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Nearly 2,000 years later, millions and millions of people have believed the angel’s message, “He is risen!”