Christ Is Risen! He Is Risen Indeed!
These are the readings for Easter Sunday.
God’s Word for This Week
Of all the Sundays of the Church Year, Easter Sunday holds the place of prominence. It is on this glorious day that the church celebrates the resurrection of Christ, their Savior from the dead. No longer are they dead in their transgressions and sins, for having been buried in Christ through baptism, they are now united with Christ in his resurrection. Today is a day to rejoice and sing! Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
First Lesson – Jonah 2:2-9
Was this the prayer Jonah prayed while in the belly of the fish, or are these thoughts that came to him later?
Certainly, Jonah wrote the prayer’s final form at a later date. The flow of thought, however, is consistent with the thoughts of one who has just had a very close brush with death. Jonah recounts his hopeless situation and immediately follows that up with his amazing rescue.
What was the real depth of Jonah’s misery? (See 2:4.)
Jonah was lying on the ocean floor, entangled by seaweed, covered by the swirling sands of the deep. But that paled in comparison as Jonah felt the seaweed of his terrible sins strangling him, dragging him from the gracious presence of his Lord. Isn’t it ironic that earlier Jonah had tried to flee from his Lord?
Why could we describe Jonah’s prayer as a prayer of thanks more so than a prayer of confidence?
When the fish swallowed Jonah, he wasn’t moving from one danger to another. The fish was a part of the solution. Jonah’s time in the fish was similar to the time Jesus spent in the grave (Matthew 12:39-40). When Jesus died, his mission was complete. The grave was not a punishment, but a place to await the Father’s exaltation. So it was for Jonah in the belly of the fish.
Second Lesson – Colossians 3:1-4
What does Paul mean when he says, “You died”? And how is it that our life is now “hidden with Christ in God”?
We died when our sinful connection to this earth was put to death on the cross. Our life is now in Christ. That life is hidden to the world that doesn’t understand the power of the cross. We now live each day in eager anticipation of Christ’s return in glory.
Gospel – Matthew 28:1-10
Why did the angel roll back the stone from the tomb?
Certainly not to let Jesus out. It was to prove to the world that Christ had risen.
How might the angel’s words, “He is not here; he has risen, just as he said,” have made the women feel ashamed?
Why were they bringing burial spices for their risen Savior? Hadn’t Jesus told them on several occasions that he would rise on the third day? It’s actually sad to note that crowds weren’t gathered there that morning to see the risen Savior.
Why were Jesus’ words “my brothers” so comforting to the disciples?
Even after they had denied Christ, living in doubt and fear, Jesus still looked to them as part of his “family.”