Yes. And a resounding yes that the Lord got knock down once, but rose up for eternity. Victory for heaven and tragedy for Satan who had thought that he would have the last laugh. The celebration that you and I are engaged in today was a result of that feat of astonishing miracle that happened at Calvary when Jesus rose from the tomb to heaven. Faithless first century citizens who populated the town of Golgotha would never, and could never, believe what happened three days later when the earth opened its womb and gently vomited up the King of kings and Lord of lords from the pit of hell.
This is my Easter story. And like many Easter celebrants the world over join me in saying: “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy has begotten us again a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead to an inheritance and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you.” – 1 Peter 1: 3-4.
The book of the Gospel of John always read like a thriller to me. In chapter 11, Jesus has just performed a miracle (Lazarus resurrection) that will be replicated in him at later chapters. When the voice of authority over all created things rang out, not even Martha and Mary had the capacity to believe, that their brother, who had died four days, could rose up from the dead. As he cried with a loud voice: “Lazarus, come forth!” The rest became a cause for celebration and mass conversion to the Way.
Before the miracle of Brother Laz, Jesus gave a powerful hint of who he is. “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me though he may die, he shall live.” The angel also trumpeted this fact to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary who came to check out the body of Jesus. The Angel instantly became the information supremo commissioned by heaven to announce what happened. The angel answered and said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he is risen, as he has said.” Matthew 28: 4-5.
The evil chief priests, elders and the soldiers who brutalized Jesus and nailed him to the cross thought it was finished, but glory to God, it was the beginning of a beautiful and endless chapters of the reign of our Lord in our hearts and the hearts of unborn generations to come.
The deal with Judas turned out to be dust. The deal could not hold. It became unstuck at that momentous occasion when the rumble happened and Jesus conquered the grave. For you and I his believers. The implication of that death has been strengthening Christianity throughout the whole world. That death gave us a mandate to open a chapter of belief and faith.
Without resurrection, there would have been no Christianity. It is the hope that someday we shall be joined with our King that gives Christianity its staying power throughout the world. No religion had this resurrection experience. Buddha died and stay buried forever. Prophet Muhammed died and stay buried forever. Christianity is a religion of hope. An assured hope that is real and not imaginary. At the point of Christ resurrection, the Bible says that, “With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of Jesus Christ. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all…. Act 4:33.
The death and resurrection of Jesus Christ was nothing but a destiny changer. His resurrection changed the lives of Christian forever. We receive revival, power, forgiveness, newness, the Holy Spirit, hope, salvation, atonement of sin through his shed blood, authority over demonic forces and saving grace from ridicule if the resurrection had not happened.
Our best attitude on this Easter day should be one of deep reflection, not only of the brutality of his death but also the joy and the triumph of our faith through his resurrection. The resurrection put an end to our shame, fear, hopelessness, lack, addiction, insecurity, poverty and gives us total assurance of eternal life. Beyond the homilies of Easter, the risen Christ is the reason for the celebration. We must allow Christ to reign afresh in our spirit. He sacrificed all for us to have this day and the only acceptable way to show our gratitude is to walk anew in tolerance, grace, power, dominion, humility, love, respect and to always remember the link in his death to our own redemption. Christ is our resurrection. Our resurrection is Christ. Resurrection is the sovereign power of God to make the impossible very possible.
Let me leave you with this beautiful verse from Apostle Paul. “For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scripture and that he was buried and that he rose again the third day according to the Scriptures and that he was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. After that he was seen by over five thousand brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present but some have fallen asleep…..” 1 Corinthians 15: 3- 9. Today, Christ is worshipped by billions across the world through this simple act of resurrection which is the new birth. Happy Easter.
. Deacon Oladeji, who lives in London, can be reached on: [email protected]