Malankara World

Sermons Based on the Lectionary of the Church

Devotional Thoughts for Easter Sunday

by Rev. Fr. Mathew C. Chacko

Gospel Reading: Matthew 28: 1-20

Christ is Risen!

"He is not here; for he is risen!" - St. Matthew 28: 6

"Jesus came and stood among them and said, "Peace be with you" John 20: 19 "But now Christ has risen from the dead, and has become the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive." 1 Corinthians 15: 20-21

1. The Deathless God identified with us in our humanity of His own will and took our fate and punishment of death and dying. Death swallowed the Deathless One thinking He was another mortal. Entering into the abode of the dead He in fact, he captured the author of death and freed all the captives and himself also. An earthquake marked the hour when Christ laid down his life, and another earthquake witnessed the moment when he took it up in triumph. Many of the saints, who lived and died for the Savior, appeared in the city when the Savior was resurrected. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the Holy City and appeared unto many. [Matthew 27:52-53] At his Second Coming, his voice will raise all the faithful departed to be with him. Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken, and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven. And then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and with great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. [Matthew 24: 29-31]

2. God, who was not subject to death, the author and giver of life, took upon himself death and identified with us in our dying. He died to give us life and to free us from the grip of the last enemy, the death. By accepting death, he went into the abode of the dead, freed all its captives, and took them along with Him to the land of the living. He assumed our nature, he took our death and by destroying death, He freed us from the domination and power of death.

3. Through the death and Resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, the power of death and sin has been broken, and through the grace of God, Eternal life has been offered to all. The death and Resurrection of Christ abolished our enslavement to sin, our separation from the love f God and eternal communion with him, and any hindrance from obtaining the fullness of life offered to us by our Creator. “For God has given us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord” 1 Cor. 15:57 [Archbishop Demetrius of America]

"The risen Christ offers not only the gift of peace, but also himself." [Mark L. Hansen, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America]

The story of the life, sufferings, death and the resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth still baffle human minds, as Jon Meacham in his most recent Newsweek [2005] article insists. He writes, "For many Church goers who fill the pews this Holy Week, reenacting the passion, contemplating the cross and celebrating the Resurrection, the faith may appear seamless and monumental, comfortably unchanging from age to age. " From the Passion to the Resurrection to the nature of salvation, the basic tenets of Christianity were in flux from generation to generation as believers struggled to understand the meaning of Jesus" mission."

Jon Meacham concludes by saying: "Whatever one thinks of Christianity, the history of Jesus gave birth to a new, lasting vision of the origin and destiny of human life, a vision drawn from the religions deep roots in Judaism."

As we celebrate Jesus" glorious Resurrection once again, may we with all the believers around the world, affirm our loyalty to share his vision by living it up!

He is Risen, Indeed, Halleluiah!

See Also:

Passion Week Supplement

Great Lent Resources - Home

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