THE WORD: He is not here

“Resurrection of Christ” by Raphael (1499-1502) is one of the earliest known paintings by the Renaissance master and is in the collection of the Sao Paulo Museum of Art, Sao Paulo, Brazil. (Public Domain)

The takeaway from the first four Beatitudes is that the recognition of Jesus as our redeemer is the pathway to eternal salvation. That payoff came on Easter Sunday when Jesus fulfilled his promise — made in Matthew 20 — that after his crucifixion, he would rise again on the third day.

The Christian symbol of the cross has inspired many hymns — “The Old Rugged Cross,” “There is Power in the Blood” and “Nothing but the Blood,” to name a few — but the resurrection of Jesus is the true symbol of salvation. The sacrifice on the cross earned humanity the ultimate prizes of redemption and everlasting life through Christ. The miracle of Easter is celebrated in the hymn “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today” by Charles Wesley — co-founder of the Methodist Church — with the line “Where thy victory, O grave?”

MARK 16:6-7

And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.