Easter, April 20, 2014

Morning Psalm: 118
Acts 10:34-43 | Matthew 28:1-10
 
Easter morning is the most startling of all mornings. God has raised Jesus to new and everlasting life and set in motion His beautiful new creation. The Sabbath is over and it is the beginning of a new week and of a whole new world. No wonder it is a day of fear and joy.
 
The guards were simply overwhelmed by fear: the earthquake, the angels, and the removal of the stone from the tomb left them “like dead men” (Matt 28:4). They knew their lives were on the line if they failed to guard Jesus’ body, but what were they to do against such an amazing act of God?
 
The women experienced fear, but also joy (v. 8). They were able to remain standing, and even able to set off running to tell the disciples what they had seen and heard. And that is what led them to Jesus (v. 9). 
 
Jesus brought the women greetings and reassurance. They did not need to be afraid; the fear could pass and the joy remain. Such is the nature of the Easter celebration. It points us forward to the day when death will be swallowed up and every tear wiped away (Rev 21:8). As Archbishop John Chrysostom said in his famous Easter sermon, “O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory? Christ is risen and you are abolished. Christ is risen and the demons are cast down. Christ is risen and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen and life is freed.” 
 
This is a day of new beginnings when fears can fade and joys flourish. The God who raised Jesus from the dead is with us. He is the One who gives hope to the world.
 
 “Almighty God, we come with praise before You this new morning and give you great thanks for this great work that You have done in raising Jesus from the dead. May Your name be known in all the earth and Your joy spread to every place and to each person, that Your glory will be seen throughout the world. Amen.”
 
The Very Rev. Dr. Justyn Terry
Dean & President

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