For well over fifty years I have attended Sunrise Services on Easter Sunday morning. For over half-a-century I have gathered with fellow Christians in the morning twilight to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Sunrise Services have always been special times whether the skyline yielded a reddish glow from a sun whose early morning rays pierced through the darkness or the skies yielded clouds that hid the sun’s radiance. This year is different because of the pandemic. Many churches will be having Sunrise Services online, some will have a drive-in type service, some are foregoing gathering until a later time. But unfortunately, there will be no gatherings like in years past.
One truth is clear, the glorious fact of that first Easter morning has not been cancelled and never will be. I am thankful on Resurrection morning the clouds of sin, the devil and death could not keep Jesus, the Sun of Righteousness, from piercing the darkness of this world with His glorious Light of redemption and reconciliation. For the Christian, every day is a day to celebrate the resurrection of Christ. Each new morn of spring the cool gentle breeze brushing against our cheeks remind us of His ever-abiding presence. Since every day is a day to rejoice that He was triumphant over the grave, if we listen closely to the joyful singing of the birds in the early morn we can still hear lingering in the air the proclamation of the angels on that first Easter morning echoing, “He is not here, He is risen.” Yes indeed, “this Man, after He had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, [being raised from the dead] sat down at the right hand of God” (Hebrews 10:12). That Christ arose from the dead is truly a wonderful truth worth lifting our voices in praise every day of the week.
That Christ arose from the dead is a historical fact. Evidence from eyewitnesses of the Christ-event and even from writings other than the Bible by first century writers verifies the historicity of His resurrection. The cross and resurrection of Christ is the central point of eternity, history and the Christian faith. While Christians can celebrate every day the historical reality of Christ’s resurrection, how does this glorious truth impact our daily lives?
Our lives are impacted when we realize the same power that raised Christ from the dead is available to us each day of our lives!! Paul writes of this amazing truth, “And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you” (Romans 8:11). What a truth to grasp, the same power that raised Christ’s lifeless body from the dead dwells with us and in us; such power is available to us in our daily lives. WOW!!
If the resurrection power of Christ dwells with us and in us why should we think we can’t face and get through the obstacles, difficulties and mountains that we may confront us? Yes, we place our faith in a historical event, but much more, His living presence is accessible for the practicality of daily living. It matters not what the trial, the testing, or the pandemic, the resurrection power of Christ is there to strengthen us. Paul, as he faced his own obstacles, writes, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” (Phil 4:13). Writing from a prison cell he knew the practicality of Christ’s resurrection power to help him in his daily encounters.
The believer has access to “the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which [God] wrought (exerted, accomplished , brought to decisive finality) in Christ, when he raised him from the dead and set him at his own right hand…” (Eph. 1:19-20). This verse tells us that the power we have available to us was put to the ultimate test when Christ was raised from the dead. If such power was victorious in the raising of Christ from the cold dark tomb, cannot “the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe” help us in the adverse circumstances of our lives. Can you think of a situation that His power is not able to give us victory?
P.T. Forsyth eloquently writes, “From the New Testament point of view the seat of chief power and authority in the universe is the cross and resurrection of Jesus Christ…For Paul the omnipotence of God was chiefly shown in raising Christ from the dead… [the] act wherein was exerted the whole power of God for the world – the resurrection of Christ.” The center point of the Christian’s faith must be in the two-fold event of the cross and resurrection and we must not lack faith in “the greatest exertion of omnipotence ever known – the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We only [live] by the power of his resurrection.”
Our Christian faith rests upon Christ’s resurrection and His living presence in our midst. Yet are you and I living daily by the power of His of resurrection? The practicality of the resurrection is that its power is sufficient to empower us daily in all of life’s storms and struggles. And even though we will not gather Sunday as in years past, celebration of His resurrection has not been cancelled. The resurrection of Christ is an event we can celebrate every day of the week. We can celebrate knowing His presence and power penetrates and invades every area of our lives – even in the midst of a pandemic.