In the early church, the pastor would announce, “He is risen!” or “Christ is risen!” and all the people would respond, “He is risen indeed!” This tradition voices the astonishment and awe that the early followers felt when the darkness and grief of Saturday was flooded with the light of the unthinkable Sunday.
When death was conquered by life.
When the hopelessness was broken.
When the unthinkable happened as he said it would.
What is it like to lose everything you ever thought you wanted or needed, only to have it gloriously and unexpectedly lavished back on you? Well, that is what Easter is all about.
Originally preached Sunday, March 27, 2016
We have all heard the story of the crucifixion and resurrection—our story of Easter—but this morning’s sermon it gets personal. We visit it through the eyes of one of the witnesses. It was personal. It was real. There were real consequences—it changed the world!
Our witness, Mary Magdalene is one of the most famous names in the Bible, and most likely one of the most misunderstood. She witnessed the horrible, tragic event, and allowed herself to grieve by visiting the tomb. As a woman, she had much to be thankful for—Jesus healed her of seven demons—and yet in her culture she could not even be considered a reliable witness. No court would hear her testimony, so how astounding is it that Jesus first appeared to her, a woman! Outrageous!