"He is Risen!"
"He is risen, indeed!"
How many times did you hear that familiar phrase today? I heard it, I read it, I 'liked' it, I said it, I shouted it, I sung it. Easter Sunday just wouldn't be the same without that yearly tradition.
But what does it mean? I suppose it's rather obvious. The meaning is right there, literally in black-and-white. "He is risen." The meaning is hard to mistake. The Lord is alive. Jesus was raised from the dead. Rephrase it however you want- it's basically the essence of Easter encapsulated in three words.
A better question: What does it mean to you? Forgive me if it sounds cliche, but hear me out.
If you are a born-again Christian, you profess to believe that God exists, that He created the world, that He loves us, that He sent His Son, that Jesus died, and that He rose again. It's the basics of belief. The fundamentals of Christianity.
Now tell me, if you profess that Jesus died and rose again, what does that imply for us today?
It means he's alive. Alive. It means he's alive and well and active and here.
Instead of taking that statement for granted, just dwell for a moment on the depth of its meaning. You may agree without hesitation that our Lord is alive and with us, but do you live like it? Do you really believe that God is with you as you read this? Do you really believe that He is beside you, in you, and around you? Do you really believe that He reads what you reads, and hears what you hear? Do you really believe that He sees what you think, say, and do?
I wonder if you truly believe it. I wonder if I truly believe it.
I wonder if I would still live the way I live and do the things I do if I truly believed my Lord was beside me. Would I look at the things I look at if Jesus was standing behind me, in the flesh? Would I still talk to my family the way I do if I could see Him in the room, among us? Would I still listen to the music I listen to or watch the shows I watch or spend my time the way I spend it if I could see Him every moment of every day?
I guess if I could see Him, if I could touch Him, there are a lot of things I would change. A lot of things I would do differently. The way I live would probably look very different if Jesus walked with me every step of every day.
But hold up. He is risen. He is risen indeed.
These are the words I profess and the claims I believe. I believe He is Emmanuel. I believe He is omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent. I believe it. At least, I say I do.
But if I claim He is risen, I'm claiming He's alive. And if I claim He's alive, I'm claiming He's active in our lives. And if I claim He's active in our lives, I'm claiming that He is with me. At all times and in all places.
It's easy to say "God is with us," but to what extent do you really believe it? If you're like me, I guess we've all got some heart-checking to do. I tend to think that if we believed 100% that God was watching us 24/7, our lives would look quite different. I can think of a lot of things I wouldn't be doing, thinking, and saying.
I imagine our devotion would be much more evident.
I imagine our testimony would be much more convincing.
The knowledge of God's presence here on earth is comforting in times of loneliness and encouraging in times of distress. But shouldn't that knowledge also be changing the way we go about life? Shouldn't we do something with that understanding? Shouldn't it influence every aspect of our existence?
The next time you bow your head in prayer, maybe keep your eyes open. Look in front of you or look beside you, and picture your Lord there. Sitting by you at the table, standing in your room with you. Envision His kind face. Imagine His compassionate eyes.
The next time you want to lip off to the cashier, picture Jesus standing beside them. Try to see Him in the world around you. In the car in front of you in traffic. Behind you as you sit at your computer. In your office with you at work. Let His presence change the way you spend your time. Let it revive your tired routine, let it convict you in your darkness.
But see Him there with you as your friend. He is not a cruel watchdog, he is not our whistle-blower. He is not the principal, watching solemnly with his arms crossed. He is our Friend. Our Father. Our Helper, Healer, and Comforter.
Oh be careful, little eyes, what you see, oh be careful, little eyes, what you see,
For the Father up above is looking down in love. Oh be careful, little eyes, what you see.
"He is risen."
We've heard you say it.
Now let's see you live it.