Jesus has risen! Three words that changed history. Three words that set the Christian faith apart from every other system of religion and belief. Three words that signal the defeat of death, sin and fear. Three words that have secured for us a place in eternal glory. Three words that are the source of all of our joy. Jesus has risen!
And yet, hidden in those three words is the implication of what was necessary to secure that joy, that victory, that glory. For before one can rise they must be laid low. All of what we celebrate, embrace and live for because of those three words was purchased at a terrible price. Jesus knew the price He would have to pay long before that day when it came due.
As that hour drew near Jesus prepared, and prayed that it might pass. He told his disciples in Gethsemane, “My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death.” And He prayed three times that there might yet be another way. Still, His final prayer was that the Father’s will be done.
There, on the cross, as Jesus hung, beaten, bleeding and dying, perfect justice and perfect mercy met in the ultimate expression of love. All that remained was one final demonstration of victory, the resurrection of Jesus. Breaking free from the grave and death itself He secured for us eternity.
Hebrews tells us that Jesus, “for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
So we celebrate, we exult in and we cling to those three words. Three words that hold the power to see us through the darkest of times, the fiercest of evils and the deepest of sorrows. For that same joy which was set before Jesus now stands before us, is ours to grasp as we exclaim those three words. Jesus has risen!