He is risen!
Jesus the Christ is risen, indeed.
The angel said to the women, "Do not be afraid... Jesus, who was crucified.... he is risen, just as he said. Go quickly and tell his disciples. He has risen from the dead" (Matthew 28:5-7).
Rejoice and be glad that our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ, who died on the cross, did rise from the tomb. Jesus fulfilled the Scriptures. Every page, every word foretold about the Messiah of God, prophesied by God's prophets since the beginning of time, came true.
Jesus the Christ of God has risen.
This risen Christ spoke to the women, "Do not be afraid. Go tell my brothers to go to Galilee, there they will see me” (Matthew 28:10).
The encouragement from the angel, and the words of our Lord Jesus speak to us clearly! "Do not be afraid". The disciples were terrified, they had lost all hope at Golgotha. Judas betrayed Jesus, Peter denied him, most of them scattered for fear from the Roman soldiers and of the religious authorities. They were lost and afraid.
Brothers and sisters, Jesus Christ our Lord Saviour died and rose from the tomb.
What does it mean for us?
It means salvation, eternity with God is ours, if we believe and accept that Jesus is Lord. That he came to redeem humanity back to God. He taught and exemplified the way of the Kingdom of God. His resurrection defeated death. His sacrifice, the perfect Lamb of God, paid for our transgressions. Jesus personifies the love of God, in life, in death, in resurrection.
May we sing everyday with the faithful gone before us, “He is Lord, He is Lord. He has risen from the dead and he is Lord. Every knee shall bend, every tongue confess. That Jesus Christ is Lord”. Alleluia, Praise the Lord, Amen.
Beloved, do not be afraid.
Jesus is risen.
Nothing on earth, in heaven and in the world below can separate us from the love of God, in Jesus Christ. This was Paul's words in encouraging the early church. Especially the persecuted faith community in Rome.
Do not be afraid.
Be careful out there. Be wise in life, be strong in the faith. Be kind to everyone. Be the light of Christ in our challenging times.
Jesus said, "And surely I am with you always to the very end of age” (Matthew 28:26).
Yours in Christ's service
Right Reverend Fakaofo Kaio
Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand