Lent Devotion for April 1, Easter
He is not here, He is risen!
1 Early on Sunday morning, as the new day was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went out to visit the tomb.
2 Suddenly there was a great earthquake! For an angel of the Lord came down from heaven, rolled aside the stone, and sat on it. 3 His face shone like lightning, and his clothing was as white as snow. 4 The guards shook with fear when they saw him, and they fell into a dead faint.
5 Then the angel spoke to the women. “Don’t be afraid!” he said. “I know you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying. 7 And now, go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and he is going ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there. Remember what I have told you.”
8 The women ran quickly from the tomb. They were very frightened but also filled with great joy, and they rushed to give the disciples the angel’s message. 9 And as they went, Jesus met them and greeted them. And they ran to him, grasped his feet, and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go tell my brothers to leave for Galilee, and they will see me there.”
11 As the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and told the leading priests what had happened. 12 A meeting with the elders was called, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. 13 They told the soldiers, “You must say, ‘Jesus’ disciples came during the night while we were sleeping, and they stole his body.’ 14 If the governor hears about it, we’ll stand up for you so you won’t get in trouble.” 15 So the guards accepted the bribe and said what they were told to say. Their story spread widely among the Jews, and they still tell it today.
8 And since we died with Christ, we know we will also live with him. 9 We are sure of this because Christ was raised from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. 10 When he died, he died once to break the power of sin. But now that he lives, he lives for the glory of God.
Reader: "This is the glorious word of the Lord.”
Response: “The best news ever announced!”
Messiah Part III “I Know that My Redeemer Liveth” by Sylvia McNair (Watch on YouTube)
“Hallelujah Chorus” from Messiah, by Atlanta Symphony Chamber Chorus with Robert Shaw (Watch on YouTube)
Messiah by Robert Shaw (Watch on YouTube)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ who in His great mercy gave us new birth into a living hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. Praise be to Jesus the Son, the Lamb of God, who has taken on himself all the sin of the world and is risen this day to everlasting life and glory. Praise be to God the Holy Spirit, who raises us to new life with Christ. Praise and thanks and blessing be to God the King and Savior of all creation, on this day of victory and light. Glory be to Thee, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
Thank you all for this journey through the Lenten season this year concluding with the Resurrection. Though this Lenten devotional was a little different in that our material was guided by our daily readings as we read through the Bible this year, I trust the working of God in the lives of ordinary flawed people was helpful. God’s story has not ended with the Scriptures. Forty days later Jesus ascended to His Father in heaven in a glorified physical body where He sits at His Father’s right hand interceding on our behalf. God’s unfolding story for the world is continuing even now and we are in it. At a time known only to the Father, Jesus will return to bring to final completion and restoration of the entire created order. The greatest story ever told will continue forever and we’ll be the people living in it. He will establish His Kingdom and He will reign forever and ever…and we’ll be there! The Lord be with you.
- Daniel Sharp