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The Final Word

Each weekday at noon a local TV station poses a “sound-off” question. It might be “Should city crews use more salt on the streets?” or “Would you like to see flu shots mandated for all residents?” or “Could stricter gun laws curb violence?” Viewers are encouraged to “sound-off” by texting or emailing their comments, which are then broadcast later in the day.

While people may appreciate the chance to have their voices heard, it doesn’t really change anything. The opinion I submit has no particular expertise or authority of law behind it. The fact that I or someone else in the community states something, doesn’t make it so.

While people may appreciate the chance to have their voices heard, it doesn’t really change anything.

I imagine that if our TV newscasters invited comments regarding Easter, the responses would range from talk of egg hunts, spring weather, and new clothes to sharp criticism of those who still firmly believe that Jesus Christ rose bodily from the dead.

The bodily resurrection of Christ has always been the objectionable part of Easter to the unbelieving world. Remember the reaction to the apostle Paul’s preaching in Athens: “When they heard of the resurrection of the dead, some mocked, while others said, ‘We will hear you again on this matter’” (Acts 17:32).

What ultimately matters is not human reason or popular opinion but the word of Him who possesses all knowledge, power, and authority in heaven and on earth. People can have all kinds of opinions, but there is only one God and one truth.

What is Easter all about? God doesn’t leave us wondering. He delivered the news to the women at the tomb through His holy angel: “He is risen!”

That says it all. 

“He is risen!” (Matthew 26:8) That event silences once and for all those who argue that Jesus could not have been more than a gifted prophet and a loving teacher. If He had been merely a man, as is claimed, He would have remained in the grave. God’s final word sweeps away all doubts which Satan tries to plant in our minds regarding Jesus’ identity, for He was “declared to be the Son of God with power…by the resurrection from the dead” (Romans 1:4).

“He is risen!” That is the confirmation of the Lord’s cry from the cross: “It is finished!” Jesus drank the foul, bitter, poisonous cup of suffering down to the last dregs. He bore all our sins and absorbed in His own body the full penalty of eternal death in our behalf. Therefore God has pronounced His verdict of “not guilty” upon the entire world of sinners. “He was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification” (Romans 4:25).

“He is risen!” That is the final word of glorious hope from the Lord when we face our inevitable death and grave, for our Savior went ahead of us, defeated death, and promises, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die” (John 11:25-26).

God’s final word to His saving plan formulated from eternity is: “He is risen!”

Faith replies, “He is risen indeed!”