“He is not here. He is risen!” said the angels to the women at the tomb. They had come to find a dead body but instead were met with an empty tomb. The spices they had brought for anointing the body were no longer necessary, for Jesus was alive!

And Jesus is still alive today! Alleluia!

“He is going before you into Galilee, just as he said,” continued the angels. Oh, my, that’s right! Jesus had told the disciples that he would be mocked and beaten and even killed but on the third day rise again and see them in Galilee. They had forgotten. They had only been able to hear that he would die. But Jesus had promised to return to them, alive. He had promised they would see him again.

And they did. All of the gospels (at least in their long endings) include an appearance of the risen Lord Jesus to at least one or more of the women as they departed from the tomb. It was real. The resurrection was true! Alleluia!

Oh my, how good it feels to bring that word back to my lips. To be able to tell you that Jesus is risen and He is going before us into the world, and even unto heaven, is a delight to my heart. Even as He went before us into death, so now He goes before us into life. He has broken the chains, opened the doors and made a way. We are not alone. We have not been abandoned. Jesus is alive and out there in the world, waiting for us to go out and meet Him where He will be found and to share with Him in the joy of bringing life to others.

Life is full of disappointments and pain, suffering and grief. Sin and death make their presence clearly known. But even as we go to the cross on Good Friday, we face it head on in the sure and certain hope that Sunday is coming and Jesus will be raised among us. And He will just as surely lead us forward now into life as He led His disciples of ages past. This is most certainly true.

May you and yours have a truly blessed Easter and may you know the hope of the resurrected Jesus among you.