RCL Year B Easter Day
Acts 10:34–43, Psalm 118:1–2 and 14-24, I Corinthians 15:1–11, Saint John 20:1–18

If Good Friday is the day that we should be empty, today is the day that we should be full. For today is the day that is the basis for the entirety of the Christian life: Christian faith, Christian worship, Christian hope, and Christian behavior. We live for this day, because we live today as we live on no other.

Living in Easter can be harder than living in Lent. Lent is easy. We just give up our sweets, or our drinks, or our carbohydrates, and we give the money to the poor. I’m beginning to see that as very easy.

What’s hard is to live with expectation, with the holy and healthy expectation that all will be well, because the enemy has been conquered. “On this day the Lord has acted; * we will rejoice and be glad in it.”[1]

Again and again at Easter you hear this verse, for Easter is much more than a “religious holiday,” a bright flower in the dreary desert of our normal routine. In early times, Sunday, the Lord’s Day, the Day of the Lord’s Resurrection, was set apart as a weekly commemoration of Christ’s rising from the dead. All our days are Easter Days, for throughout the whole of our Christian lives we are partakers of his Resurrection, for by him we are saved and set free, and freed from death; because he is risen, we shall rise also. All our happiness, our true happiness, here and hereafter stems from the fact that the Lord is risen indeed.

You may be surprised to know that the Lord’s Resurrection impressed itself upon me very strikingly on two Sundays ago. Something caught my eye. The declination of the sun seemed different, and it was. The brightness of the sun was more intense, and the window above the altar and the reredos was sharper and more colorful. Soon a little fuzz will show upon the plants at the front of the church if it hasn’t already. They will return to their glory just as Christ did when he spoke to Mary Magdalene in the garden of the Gospel. God in Christ rose from the dead to show us that life, that God, would in the end triumph over every obstacle. The worst is over. The worst is over every day of our lives because of this day, Easter Day, when life in its fullness is poured out on each of us.

Christian happiness or Easter-living, if you will, springs from the serenity, the confidence, and the assurance we have in the eternal and unchanging God, the Christ who rose from the dead. This serenity and confidence lie deep in the soul, and they persist despite the aches and pains, the gray hairs and the wrinkles, the cancers and the diseases, through which we make our way to follow him. For the risen Christ is irrepressible. The risen Christ will not be denied. The Christ who rose from the dead will not allow his Resurrection to be in vain.

Because we know he is risen we know he is what he claimed to be: Son of God and very God of very God.[2] His Resurrection sets the seal of absolute truth upon every word he uttered, every promise he made. We know beyond all doubt, therefore, what we must do, to whom we must look, and the final purpose of our journey; we know the way, the truth, and the life.

[1] Psalm 118:24.

[2] The Book of Common Prayer, page 327.

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