Easter Sunrise: People of the Resurrection

New World UMCPastor's Blog

Today is Easter Sunday, the time when we celebrate Jesus Christ’s resurrection. As Christians, we believe Jesus conquered death, offering eternal life to those who believe in him. His resurrection changed our perspective on life and death. Death is no longer a final destination but a passage to everlasting life.

We believe that through Jesus’ resurrection, we experience a revival and healing of our whole selves. Jesus’ resurrection changes how we live, understand life, and make decisions. The loss, suffering, and brokenness we experience are not the end. Instead, God is always working to make things better, and Jesus’ resurrection is just the beginning.

The women who discovered Jesus’ empty tomb teach us about this. In their first encounter with Jesus, everything changed for them. This is their story,

“But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in, they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” Then they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest.” (Luke 24: 1-9)

It is early Sunday morning, at dawn, and Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them came to the tomb to complete the burial rituals for Jesus’ body as was the Jewish custom.

There was no joy in this. Everything was wrong. They were coming in deep sorrow, confusion, and despair. Their long-awaited Messiah was dead. They were there when Jesus was crucified; they witnessed the darkness of the day as Jesus breathed his last breath and saw his body carried and put away in the tomb. But when they came to the tomb, they found the stone rolled away, and when they entered, they did not find the body of Jesus.

At this point, angels appeared and told them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen!” This knowledge redirected them from sorrow, confusion, and despair to joy, confidence, and hope. In an instant, Jesus’ victory over death changed death as a final destination and opened the way for all who believed in him into eternal life.

This story is a powerful one that tells us about how Jesus was resurrected and but it also invites us to live as people of the resurrection. This gift of eternal life is not one that we have to wait until we die to experience its blessings. Knowing Jesus is alive empowers us today to live lives of goodness, love, and hope. The resurrection of Jesus changes our mindset and view of life from “nothing matters” to “this is a gift.” Being with Jesus moves our hearts from contempt to gratitude, shame to joy, and pride to humility.

As people of the resurrection, we can live with anticipation for the future rather than fear of the end. The power of the resurrection is a tangible experience in our everyday living, releasing us to enjoy life through grace.

My friends, Jesus changes everything, but we must trust in his teachings and love to experience this transformation.

This Easter Sunday, let us celebrate Jesus’ resurrection and remind ourselves to trust his teachings, living in light of God’s promises. Jesus changes everything. Amen.