Pause

Even when we expect it, even when we know it is coming, Easter arrives all wrapped up in surprise. We are amazed at this great thing God has done.

Life springs from the darkest place we can imagine.

Death is sent packing.

We are given again the gift of wonder, and we stand amazed in the presence of our risen Lord.

Open wide now your heart. Open your heart to the Light — the Lord of Life!

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Listen

Now if Christ is proclaimed as raised from the dead, how can some of you say there is no resurrection of the dead? If there is no resurrection of the dead, then Christ has not been raised; and if Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain. We are even found to be misrepresenting God, because we testified of God that he raised Christ—whom he did not raise if it is true that the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised. If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.

But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.

1 Corinthians 15:12-20

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Think

Some people don’t believe that Jesus rose from the dead, and some people don’t believe that it matters. Not Paul. The resurrection of Jesus is the one thing he is absolutely convinced of. It was the risen Christ, after all, who met him on the road to Damascus, who knocked him off his high horse and called him into ministry. His life was never the same.

And so he constructed a whole new reality based on this truth: Jesus rose from the dead. Because he did, we can. And since we can, nothing will ever be the same. Death will not have the last word anymore. Life will have the last word. And because it will, we can live our lives with joyful abandon, putting our faith and hope in Jesus, trusting in the resurrection.

As Paul would say: It’s a fact.

Jim Somerville

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Pray

Lord, thank you for conquering death and rising to new life. It gives me hope. It takes away my fear. It makes it possible for me to live my days with joyful abandon. Thank you! Amen.

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Go

Christ is living, no more weeping, no more time for grief and pain!
Neither death nor tomb could hold Christ, who is living once again.
Do not look among the dead for one who lives most certainly;
Christ is living! Hear the good news that resounds so joyfully.

Nicolas Martinez

Jim Somerville

Jim Somerville is the pastor of First Baptist Church, Richmond, Virginia. He is married to the former Christy Treadwell and they have two daughters, Ellie and Catherine, both of whom grew up going to Passport. Jim enjoys backpacking and almost any other activity that gets him outdoors.

Crown Him with Many Crowns

Rodrigo Rodriquez

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