Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:1-11
Key verses: (3-8) 3For I handed on to you as of first importance what I in turn had received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, 4and that he was buried, and that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. 6Then he appeared to more than five hundred brothers and sisters at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have died. 7Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. 8Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me.
Reflection: “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!”
We began Easter worship with these words, a call and response that has been part of the church’s witness since early days. Is it more than just a liturgical act for us? More than words printed in the bulletin and spoken in Easter worship? How do we know it to be true? How can we say it with conviction and faith?
The early disciples knew it because they saw Jesus. They spoke to him. They ate with him. Later, people like Paul experienced the risen Christ in a different way. Either they knew people who had seen him and shared the good news, or they met the risen Christ in a way that went beyond a purely physical presence. They met and saw Jesus even after he had gone away again. That’s been the way that people have seen and met Christ in all the centuries since.
Where have you seen Jesus? Where have you experienced the love of Christ, his grace and mercy and peace? Who has shown you that kind of servant love? Have you met him in showing that love and mercy to others?
Some of our youth are in Cuba this week, worshiping with our friends in Remedios. We are friends in Christ, linked by a shared faith that Christ is risen. Without that link we would never know them, or so many others in our city and in our world. Our very different lives would have no connection points without the risen Christ. But in Christ, we are family. Christ lives in and through us, and in and through our shared witness and worship. And perhaps in and through us, others might see and meet Jesus too. Friends hear and believe the good news: Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
Prayer: Lord, help me see Jesus. Help me worship and praise him. Help me show him to others. In the name of Christ, the risen Lord, I pray. Amen.
Author: Julie Hester
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].