He is Risen!

He is Risen!

Luke 24:1-12

But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they went in, they did not find the body. 4While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. 6Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.’ 8Then they remembered his words, 9and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

 On Easter we proclaim the great truth of our faith. Without Easter there is no Christianity, no church, no hope. Easter changes everything. Today we say loud and clear: Christ is risen! In a moment I will say again: “Christ is risen!” and your response: “He is risen indeed.” And since this is the news that changes everything, let’s say it with all the conviction and joy we can muster:

 Christ is Risen!

He is Risen indeed!

Christ is Risen!

He is Risen indeed!

 This story that changes everything begins with a reference to keeping Sabbath. The final words of chapter 23 are:

On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

 Jesus died on Friday, in the afternoon. The Sabbath began that evening at sundown. Like all other faithful Jews, the women of our story rest on the Sabbath which leads into the first verse of chapter 24:

 But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb.

This practice of keeping Sabbath, which we’ve talked about all through Lent, is so prevalent in the Scriptures that it even affects thestory of our faith.

And what a story it is!

The women come to the tomb to do what they didn’t have time to complete on Friday—they come to prepare the Lord’s body for burial.

As you would expect, burial practices in the first century were different than our customs today. A typical tomb was a small room, cut out of a rock hillside.