Happy Easter! My roommates and I decided to have a sunrise Easter service on our rooftop this morning. We woke up at 6 a.m. and, bundled in coats, scarves, hats and blankets, climbed up to the roof to sing Easter songs and share scriptures with each other and the few friends brave enough to come join us. It was beautiful. The sky was pink and blue and as the sun rose everything turned golden. Birds sang, and the city woke up.
Corina told us that in the Greek Orthodox church they have a traditional greeting on Easter--instead of just saying Happy Easter, they say "Christ is risen!" The other person answers with, "Truly he is risen!" I like it. It's true that Easter has not become as commercialized as Christmas, but still I think we easily forget that Easter is the celebration of Christ's death and resurrection, which is joyful because it included the Atonement for our sins, and established the resurrection, which makes it possible for us to have eternal life. The scriptures say it best.
"He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces..." Isaiah 25:8
"For behold, he surely must die that salvation may come; yea, it behooveth him and becometh expedient that he dieth, to bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, that thereby men may be brought into the presence of the Lord. Yea, behold, this death bringeth to pass the resurrection, and redeemeth all mankind from the first death--that spiritual death; for all mankind, by the fall of Adam being cut off from the presence of the Lord, are considered as dead, both as to things temporal and to things spiritual. But behold, the resurrection of Christ redeemth mankind, yea, even all mankind, adn bringeth them back into the presence of the Lord." Helaman 14:15-17
"But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive." 1 Corinthians 15:20-22
"O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" 1 Corinthians 15:55
Christ is risen! Truly he is risen. Have a beautiful Easter day.
Pictured above is "Rescue of the Lost Lamb" by Minerva Teichert.