May 16, 2021

He Has Risen 04-04-2021

4th April 2021
Easter Sunday Service
Title: He Has Risen
(Scripture Readings: Isaiah 25:6-9; Mark 16:1-8)
By Heeyoung Lim
Happy Easter! Jesus is risen.
God is praised for his wonderful deeds in many Bible verses. In Isaiah 25, the focus is moved into the future. The prophet Isaiah praised God for His future deeds which could be compared to the great history of salvation. We do not know when and how God’s will be done, but we know God has plans for us and carries them out for God’s people in perfect faithfulness.
In today’s text, Lord Almighty will prepare a feast of rich food for all people, a banquet that is open to all people and nations.
Verse 8 says “He will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; He will remove his people’s disgrace from all the earth.” The Lord has spoken.
No longer will the nations hide themselves while mourning over the victims lost in the battle of the last days. The Lord will destroy the power of death and wipe away all tears. God will invite all who are left to feast joyfully. Death, the last enemy, will be conquered, it will no longer threaten the world; mourning will vanish; joy and thanksgiving will last. God is giving us reasons to be joyful. This promise was revealed in the resurrection of our Lord. God’s people can join in praise for his coming kingdom on earth, for his protection of the helpless, and for his victory over death. We can be glad and rejoice in his salvation as in verse 9.
In Mark 16, three women who were at the foot of cross wanted to anoint Jesus’ body Saturday evening, but they were on their way to the tomb just after sunrise due to darkness. (Mark 16:2) They did not expect to see him alive; The purpose of anointing was an expression and act of love and devotion.
The women had a question; “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But the stone had been moved back when the women arrived at the tomb. Mark does not tell us who moved the stone. When they looked up, they saw that the large stone had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. He said, “Don’t be alarmed, you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here.” This is good news. They were invited by the angel to see that the tomb was empty. (6)
The angel said, “go, tell his disciples and Peter.” (7) When male dominated law and culture discounted the witness of women, Jesus gave mission to the women who were coming to Jesus. The women were God’s instruments for spreading gospel, they were called to discipleship even though they failed to communicate due to their trembling and astonishment. Resurrection is the heart of Good news. We can say that Jesus has risen.
The disciples needed reassurance and encouragement during these times, especially Peter. Peter needed to know he had been forgiven and restored. John’s Gospel described how Jesus concerned and cared for His disciples. (John 21). Jesus encouraged and empowered his disciples by appearing and commissioning. Resurrected Jesus empowers us by being, praying, and commissioning to continue spreading the good news.
Jesus received Peter’s denial, but Jesus forgave him and cared for him. God’s gracious hand of forgiveness can bring us back. To do this, ‘coming to Jesus’, ‘removing stones,’ ‘forgiving others’, and ‘going and telling’ are necessary in our faith and life. We are responsible for telling the “good news” of Jesus Christ. The good news is not to hide, but to reveal and it is not to contain, but to convey.
The tomb Jesus was in on Friday was empty on Sunday. We can see His final victory in the resurrection. The resurrection of Christ is the heart of the gospel. Resurrection is Good news and an actual historical event. Jesus fulfilled His gospel mission by rising from the dead.
Disbelief and hardness of heart can be stones that block us from God, it keeps God from working through the believer’s life. God has the power to “roll away” the stones that block us from living life fully. The resurrection of Jesus teaches us that in the darkest circumstances there is always hope. The hope of resurrection came from the tomb. Jesus’ death and the place of death were not the end.
We can assume that the behind the scenes from the tomb by angel’s appearance and good news. “He has risen, He is not here.” Jesus no longer stays in the tomb.
Jesus was doing during those three days in the tomb even if people were not able to see God at work. (4) This does not mean He is not working, and the emptiness does not mean nothing. The emptiness of tomb means hope and a new start.
God is not disappointed when we make a mistake, He is disappointed when we fail to believe Him. We may have doubt in our lives, but Jesus encourages us to rectify previous wrongs and begin again in the power of the resurrected Jesus, our crucified Jesus has risen.
In verse 8, “Jesus is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.” Jesus had already promised them what the angel describes to the women. Jesus is always a step ahead of our fearful journeys. Always waiting for us in Galilee. Always holding us together. He is guiding us back to Himself and reminding us of the calling: “Follow me.” Jesus’ resurrection renews our fellowship, binds it together instead of allowing it to break. The resurrection of Christ has the power to transform. I hope we will be transformed in the power of resurrection.
Jesus has risen! Everything has been changed from sadness to gladness, from despair to hope, and from frustration to progress. Lent is 40 days, but Easter is 50 days, and we call Easter the great fifty. We are in “the Great Fifty”. Easter is not just today; it will be continued for the next 50 days from today. I pray that the joy of the resurrected Lord will overflow into your lives for these 50 days of Easter Season.

Thanks be to God! Amen!

(Ref. Bible, commentaries, theological books, UCA materials)