He is Risen!

Day 12

The resurrection of Jesus is everything. Christianity rises or falls on whether or not Jesus actually rose from the dead. Without the resurrection, Jesus is just another sage or mystic offering another brand of ethics or spirituality. Take it or leave it. But if Jesus really did rise from the dead, then He must be who He claimed to be: The Way, the Truth and the Life. The only way to the Father.

The resurrection of Jesus is a fact. A historical fact. The greatest fact in history. I’ll have something to say about this on Easter Sunday.

The resurrection happened in a garden. The fall of man happened in a garden. The recovery of man happened in a garden. Adam lost the garden for us. Jesus recovered the garden for us.

One of the things that strike me about the Gospel accounts of the resurrection is the sparing and stark manner in which they report it. There is no hyperbole, no attempt at sensationalism. It’s as if they were written by Sergeant Joe Friday. “Just the facts, ma’am.” Matthew, Mark, Luke and John didn’t attempt to corroborate their stories. That’s why each account is somewhat different. No one person who was a witness of the events surrounding the resurrection saw it all. All the Gospel writers could do was record what witnesses told them, and each witness had only their own perspective.

But the thing that stands out the most to me as I read the resurrection accounts is the sheer surprise of it all. Despite the fact that Jesus had specifically told His disciples that He would rise from the dead, no one expected the resurrection. Our God is a God full of surprises, and the resurrection was His greatest surprise.

Matthew begins his resurrection account with these words: “Now after the Sabbath, as the first day of the week began to dawn.” Matthew is simply relating the facts in a straight forward manner. But I want to say, a whole lot more than the first day of a new week was beginning to dawn! It was a new world that was dawning! It was man’s redemption that was dawning! It was the Kingdom of Heaven that was dawning!

What I love about reading the resurrection accounts is that if you allow yourself, you can be swept away in the wonder, the awe, the surprise, the joy and even the fear that surrounded the resurrection. I want to live in the wonder of the resurrection. I choose to live in the wonder of the resurrection.


That is the never ending surprise of joy.