Hallelujah—Christ is risen!
Today is the most joyous day of the year: the day we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the tomb, and the grace and forgiveness that his death and resurrection make possible. Today, Christ-followers in every corner of the world are rejoicing in the living hope that is Jesus Christ.
Wherever you are this morning, you can participate by taking a few moments to read the Easter story below. Maybe you’ve never read the Easter story before, or maybe you’ve read it a hundred times. Either way, know that whatever your circumstances, whatever your history, whatever you’ve said or done… the God who created you loves you, and has made it possible for you to know Him.
Here’s the Easter story, as told in Matthew 28 (HCSB):
After the Sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to view the tomb. Suddenly there was a violent earthquake, because an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and approached the tomb. He rolled back the stone and was sitting on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his robe was as white as snow. The guards were so shaken from fear of him that they became like dead men.
But the angel told the women, “Don’t be afraid, because I know you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here! For He has been resurrected, just as He said. Come and see the place where He lay. Then go quickly and tell His disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead. In fact, He is going ahead of you to Galilee; you will see Him there.’ Listen, I have told you.”
So, departing quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, they ran to tell His disciples the news. Just then Jesus met them and said, “Good morning!” They came up, took hold of His feet, and worshiped Him. Then Jesus told them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see Me there.”
As they were on their way, some of the guards came into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. After the priests had assembled with the elders and agreed on a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money and told them, “Say this, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole Him while we were sleeping.’ If this reaches the governor’s ears, we will deal with him and keep you out of trouble.” So they took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been spread among Jewish people to this day.
The 11 disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw Him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” — Matthew 28 (HCSB)