Alleluia! Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

For centuries, in fact, for two thousand years, Christians have been sharing this joyful message with one another. In every language on earth, all year round, and most especially at Eastertime, we speak, sing, and even shout it: Christ is risen! Alleluia! It’s really true!

But that creates a problem for pastors, teachers, and other Christian leaders. Most all of you have heard this good news before, haven’t you? In fact, you have heard it many, many times. Most of you have read it for yourselves from the Bible, and for years now, you’ve heard it spoken at Eastertime and at other times, too, by faithful followers and servants of the Savior.

In fact, you and I have heard it so often we’re tempted to take it for granted. We could easily shrug off this good news as old news. We could let this good news enter our ears and settle into the back corners of our minds without ever letting it touch our hearts.

That would be too bad. In fact, it would be a tragedy! Jesus’ resurrection is a miracle, a miracle that makes an eternal and personal difference!

The miraculous often seems commonplace in today’s technological world. For example:
• It took months for news from the other side of the world to make its way to the ears of our great-grandparents. Today, when the Queen of England sneezes in Scotland, we know about it in an instant.
• Yesterday’s invasive surgeries—themselves once considered miraculous—are being replaced by micro-procedures, many of them carried out remotely and by robots!
• Unbelievable as it may seem, private companies are planning colonies on the moon and outposts on Mars.

Given the right technology, we can do anything! Right? Or can we?

One last, invincible barrier to our technology remains. We might prolong life for months or years, but at some point, it ends. One hundred percent of us are mortal. All of us will die. But that’s not the worst of it.

The physical death we experience is only a symptom of a much bigger problem. We die because we have lived in rebellion against our creator God. That rebellion—our sin—is the real issue. The Bible draws a straight line between sin and mortality: The wages of sin is death. (Romans 6:23 KJV)

This truth is short, but not so sweet. We don’t just slip out of existence. We don’t stop being. No, this kind of death is the existence we rebels have asked for all along. It is existence for all eternity apart from God, apart from his rules, his life, and his love. The Bible often uses another word for this kind of death: hell. It’s stark, but true.

The truth is that our electronic toys will not save us from the consequences of our me-first lives. No medical miracle can excise the greed that devastates the soul. We may colonize Mars, but not even there will we escape responsibility for our shallow worship, our prayer-less lives, or our neglect of those who need our love.

No technological miracle can prevent or even blunt this kind of death. “The wages of sin is death.” Sin and death go together; they are linked as closely as i and Pod. They’re as tight as dot and com.

Until we pause to consider and acknowledge this, the miracle of Easter will stir our hearts to nothing more than one big yawn. Resurrection Day will be nothing more than an excuse to buy a new hat or hunt plastic eggs in the park with our children or grandchildren.

But the moment—the very moment—we recognize that the dilemma of death is real . . . the moment we realize that our sin is our biggest problem . . . just then, Resurrection Day with all its joy and peace can begin to dawn in our hearts. The moment we recognize how deep our need really is, our hearts are truly ready to receive once more the great and true miracle first proclaimed by the angel at our Lord’s empty tomb: “He is risen, as he said” (Matthew 28:6 KJV)!

In love, Christ has done for us what we in all our creativity with all our technology and all our supposed genius could never do. It’s a miracle! Christ has removed our guilt, taking upon himself the punishment we by our sins deserved. It’s a miracle! Christ has shattered our shame and loneliness, declaring us to be God’s very own holy sons and daughters, members of heaven’s royal family. It’s a miracle! Christ has demolished death’s power to claim us, to hurt us, even to frighten us. Listen! (Read 1 Corinthians 15:56-57.)

Alleluia! Christ is risen!
He is risen indeed! Alleluia!

Christ has risen, and we, too, will rise. Death could not hold him. Death cannot and will not hold those who belong to him. It’s a miracle!

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