He Rose, We Will Rise: Why Easter Matters, Part 2

My hands were hooked through the bottom of the steering wheel as I waited at the red light. The radio was off, and I sat in the insulating white noise of the running engine and cars turning in front of me through the intersection. 

The words came singing in my head then. I couldn’t place them at first. 

“There’s a peace I’ve come to know,
Though my heart and flesh may fail.
There’s an anchor for my soul, 
I can say, ‘It is well.’

“There’s a day that’s drawing near,
When this darkness breaks to light,
And the shadows disappear,
And my faith shall be my eyes.

“Jesus has overcome, and the grave is overwhelmed.
Victory is won—He is risen from the dead.

“And I will rise, when He calls my name,
No more sorrow, no more pain.
I will rise on eagle’s wings
Before my God fall on my knees,
And rise.”

I wondered why we didn’t sing this song more often for Easter. For here is one of the key victories of the resurrection. Jesus’ resurrection sealed death’s fate. It released us from the futile cycle of death and decay. His life guarantees we will live. Death will not win. Death will die. Oh what joy!

In her book, More than an Aspirin, Gay Hubbard talks about how the resurrection gives us hope: 

“If in our lives we are already caught in the pain and disorientation of a Good Friday experience, when death prevails and it seems all hope is lost, it is no small thing to agree to live as though Easter, a day of rebirth and new life, were coming. We sense that there may be more of this agonizing Good Friday yet to endure; there may be that terrible silent Saturday yet to come. From this place we cannot see the empty tomb; there is no evidence that Easter is coming. 

What [God] calls us to do is to agree that Easter can come and then live as though it were going to do so.”

This is what the resurrection frees us to do—to live in joy, “though our heart and flesh may fail,” not because we’re living in denial, not because we’re masochists, but because Christ’s resurrection is our sure hope that this is not the end of us. His resurrection is the proof of our future hope with no sorrow, no darkness, no tears. 

He rose. We will rise. 

Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, “If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.” It’s the resurrection that gives us hope. It gives us hope beyond this life. It gives us hope in this life, offering joy regardless of what life may hold.

Praise the Lord—Christ is risen.