Today’s Scrip-Bit   17 April 2022 Luke 24:5b.

Luke 24:5b.      Why seek ye the living among the dead? 

HAPPY  EASTER! 

It’s the big day friends; the day we’ve been so eagerly awaiting – that’s Easter Sunday! That most memorable day of Christ’s resurrection, which resulted in a resounding victory over his satanic majesty, the prince of darkness and his dark dominion of hell, death and the grave! And is it ever a perfect day for a resurrection; bright and sunshiny, though somewhat cool. It’s the most joyful day in Christendom because Christ’s resurrection made it possible for our sins to be forgiven and the free gift of salvation and eternal life a blessed reality! Oh, please give Him a shout of praise and honour my people. 

And do I ever like this commentary on the day taken from the Simple Series musical ‘Mercy Tree,’ which was featured on the album inspired by the message and mission of Billy Graham, titled ‘My Hope.’  It says: ‘We have gathered today to lift up the name of Jesus. We rejoice in His victory over sin and the cross. Our cries of ‘Hosanna! Save us now!’ have been answered. Our Redeemer has conquered death! And because we are certain of that, we have reason to celebrate!’ 

And we most certainly have reason to celebrate my people! It’s the day of mankind’s greatest gift, next to his creation; when the Lord blew His breath of life into man’s frail and fragile body! It’s not every day that your sins are forgiven, and you can look forward to a life of close encounters with your Lord and Saviour. So that’s indeed a cause for celebration! 

And to get us started on that celebration, we are going to sing this most appropriate hymn written by one of the great hymn writers of all time Charles Wesley, titled ‘Christ the Lord is Risen Today.’ ‘It’s considered the most definitive church anthem for Easter. Each verse features a focus on the Resurrection of Jesus.’ But before we get into the actual singing, I have one more commentary to share, and I’m not sure where I got it from, (smile) but it is very interesting and uplifting. 

Please read with me. ‘In every worship service, the words we say and the actions we participate in are somehow shaping us. Perhaps without even being aware of it, worship is doing something to us – it’s forming habits and language inside of us to both teach us why we are in relationship with God, and how to be in relationship with God. One practice that many liturgists and hymn authors have brought into worship is describing an event that happened in the past (usually a moment from the Gospel story) as if it were happening today, in order to instill in us the understanding that, just as God worked in the lives of people two thousand years ago, He is still working today. 

The hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today” is a perfect example of this. Right in the title is an indicator of the present tense: the word “is.” As we sing this song, we are first brought back two millennia as “witnesses” of the resurrection, and then we are also made aware that though the actual event of the resurrection happened once, it is in a sense an on-going event with ever-present effects. We are called today to live out of the resurrection, to follow our risen Lord in newness of life, and to ever lift our “alleluias” in praise.’ 

So let’s do exactly that nuh friends, lift our ‘alleluias’ in sacrificial praise this Easter Sunday morn of this controversial and difficult year of 2022. Therefore, in an upbeat tempo, with loud voices, joyful hearts and souls, let’s sing this magnificent anthem of praise. ‘Christ the Lord is ris’n today, Alleluia! Sons of men and angels say, Alleluia! Raise your joys and triumphs high, Alleluia! Sing, ye heav’ns, and earth, reply, Alleluia! Lives again our glorious King, Alleluia! Where, O death, is now thy sting? Alleluia! Once He died our souls to save, Alleluia! Where’s thy victory, O grave? Alleluia! 

LOVE’S redeeming work is done, Alleluia! Fought the fight, the battle won, Alleluia! Death in vain forbids His rise, Alleluia! Christ hath opened paradise, Alleluia! Soar we now where Christ hath led, Alleluia! Foll’wing our exalted Head, Alleluia! Made like Him, like Him we rise, Alleluia! Ours the cross, the grave, the skies, Alleluia! Hail the Lord of earth and heaven, Alleluia! Praise to Thee by both be given, Alleluia! Thee we greet triumphant now, Alleluia! Hail the Resurrection, thou, Alleluia! King of glory, Soul of bliss, Alleluia! Everlasting life is this, Alleluia! Thee to know, Thy pow’r to prove, Alleluia! Thus to sing, and thus to LOVE, Alleluia!’ 

Yes mih bredrin. That’s indeed a magnificent song for a magnificent day, and we did full justice to it. Praise the Lord! And I do hope we noticed the focus in every verse on the resurrection of Christ as mentioned above. And I particularly like the line that says: ‘LOVE’S redeeming work is done,…’ To me, that describes it best. It’s all the work of LOVE, which it so truthfully is: beginning with the Father’s LOVE for us, then the Son’s LOVE for the Father, which led Him to an obedient death on the cross. 

But the story of Christ’s triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday is never complete without some retelling of it from the Good Book, how the women came to the tomb early in the morning to embalm Jesus, wondering how they would roll away the stone, but much to their amazement found the stone had already been rolled away and the tomb was empty. And they saw two men standing in the tomb with shining garments. They bowed their heads in fear, but the men said to them, ‘Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spoke unto you when he was yet in Galilee, Saying , The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again. And they remembered his words. And they returned from the sepulchre and told all these things unto the eleven and to all the rest.’ (Luke 24:1-9) 

Now all the gospels give their version of the resurrection events, But there’s something about John’s version I like. Where, after the news of the empty tomb was noised about, Peter and John went to the tomb and also found it empty, and they too went away perplexed. ‘But Mary Magdalene stood without (outside) the sepulchre weeping, (this was her second visit) and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre. And seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain. 

And they say unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence (carried him away), tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. 

Jesus saith unto her, Mary. She turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni, which is to say Master (Teacher). Jesus saith unto her, Touch me not (stop clinging to me); for I have not yet ascended unto my Father: (do not worry, I’m not going away immediately): but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father, and to my God, and your God. Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and he had spoken these things unto her.’ (John 20:11-18) 

What a moving story of reunion and reconnection my people! And I believe it’s important to note that Jesus chose a female, Mary Magdalene to be the first human contact on His resurrection day, and not one of His male disciples. She apparently was one of Jesus’ trusted female followers, female disciples, who travelled with Jesus and His ‘nowherian’ band (band of no fixed abode). And females were indeed an important part of Christ’s ministry, but I guess because of the paternalistic nature of the society their importance was consistently overlooked, just like it still is today. 

Anyway friends, I hope this short treatise (smile) on Easter Sunday has encouraged us, made us more aware of the great importance of this day in the annals and life of our Christian faith, for without it, there would be no Christianity, no salvation, and no eternal life, just hellfire and damnation. So please let’s rejoice, be merry and enjoy it, but let’s take time to consider how important Jesus really is to us, and repledge our allegiance to him on this Easter, this Resurrection Sunday! It’s the least we can do to show our eternal gratitude. Much LOVE!

…no resurrection means…no church…and worst of all…NO Rapture… 

P.S. Sorry it’s so late…but dem’s the breaks! (smile) Much LOVE! 

Hear our podcast at https://open.spotify.com/show/3aVfqIC1CqwGybISs9dZJ8   

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