On Easter morning, something sacred happens. Yes, there’s the whole Jesus-not-being-dead thing, but that’s not what I’m talking about. On that morning, all around the world, in various cultures and in various languages the Body of Christ proclaims as one:
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!
Kristus vstal z mrtvých! Vpravdě vstal z mrtvých! (Czech)
Chrystus zmartwychwstał! Prawdziwie zmartwychwstał! (Polish)
Kristus er oppstanden! Han er sannelig oppstanden! (Norwegian)
Christus ist auferstanden! Er ist wahrhaft auferstanden! (German)
¡Cristo resucitó! ¡En verdad resucitó! (Spanish)
This is indeed a sacred moment. In the midst of all the division, war, fighting, chaos, and threats that we make against one another, the Body of Christ around the world proclaims the gospel message of one accord — not because we have to, but because we get to. We get to proclaim this message because we recognize that Christ died once and for all, and that sin and death have been conquered once and for all. This is the Easter message. And friends, we are Easter people.
What does that mean, being Easter people? It means that we live into that Easter proclamation: Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! It means that we live into our new identity as redeemed and saved creatures who are no longer condemned due to our own brokenness and sinfulness. It means that our lives have been changed forever and that the way we live our lives will change forever as well.
How will our lives change? We become walking proclamations. We become the gospel message, the love of God, in the flesh. Our lives will (or at least they should) reflect the gift of grace and salvation that we have received, quite undeservedly I might add. And so what we say, what we do, and even what we think, should preach the gospel message — should share the love of God and the gift of God’s redeeming grace — with all people.
“Preach the Gospel at all times. When necessary, use words.” Let that sink in. This quote, attributed to St. Francis of Assisi, shows us what our lives as Easter people will look like. We need to practice what we preach. We need to walk the walk and talk the talk. If we say that we are Christian, if we say we believe in Christ crucified, resurrected, and ascended, then we need to start living that way. Our lives should reflect that which we claim to believe.
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! All around the world people proclaim this message not only with their lips, but also with their lives. Let us join in this Easter proclamation as we live into our identity as Easter people!