“In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters.”

Genesis 1:1-2

 

Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!

If you’re a Protestant or Roman Catholic Christian, you might worry that my calendar is a week off, since I just offered you the traditional paschal (Easter) greeting. For Christians in the West, last Sunday was Easter. If you’re an Eastern Orthodox believer, however, today is Easter Sunday for you. Throughout this day, you’ll hear the greeting, “Christ is risen!” and respond with “He is risen, indeed!” or “Truly, he is risen.”

But, we might say the paschal greeting is appropriate any day of the year, since we are to live our whole lives in light of the resurrection of Jesus. Moreover, many Western Christians celebrate Easter, not just for one day, but for a fifty-day period beginning on Easter Sunday and ending before Pentecost Sunday. In the season of “Eastertide,” where we are right now, it’s more than appropriate to greet each other with “Christ is risen” and the response, “He is risen, indeed.”

In yesterday’s devotion, I talked about the all-surpassing power of God that frames our leadership and enables us to exercise it with humility. Before we leave the theme of God’s power, I want to make a connection between this power, the resurrection, and our lives in Christ, including our leadership.

The connection between God’s power and the resurrection is obvious. The same God who created all things has the power to bring to life one who is truly dead. God’s creative power is also re-creative power, power we see dramatically as Jesus leaves his tomb more fully alive than any other human being.

We rightly marvel at such supernatural power. But, we marvel even more that this power is “for us,” as it says in Ephesians 1:19-20. The very power that raised Christ from the dead is for our benefit. Yet that’s not all. According to Ephesians 3:20, God’s power is also “at work within us” or, reading in context, “among us” as the body of Christ together. Therefore, God is “able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.” Thus, the power that raised Jesus from the dead is both for us, in us, and among us.

Easter is a time to celebrate the resurrection of Christ, to exalt the risen One, and to worship the God who raised him from the dead. But it is also a time to remember that we are to live as people of the resurrection, confident that God’s power is both for us, in us, and among us. This truth can change our lives, our relationships, and our work. It can give us boldness, hope, and joy.

So, once again, I greet you: Christ is risen! He is risen, indeed!

QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER:

As you think about your life, what difference does the resurrection of Jesus make? Do you really believe that the power of the resurrection is for your benefit? Do you think God’s power is within you? When have you experienced the power of God working for you? When have you experienced God’s power working in you? When have you experienced God’s power working among his people? How do you need God’s power today?

PRAYER:

Gracious God, as we continue to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, we are awestruck by the demonstration of your power. Death cannot contain you, Lord. No power in heaven or on earth is able to restrain you.

We are also amazed, Lord, that your power is for us, for our good. You are at work in our lives for our benefit. How fantastic!

Perhaps even more wonderful is the fact that your power is alive in me through your Spirit. Thus, you are able to do in me more than all I can ask or imagine.

And not just in me, but in your people together. Your power is among us, active as we gather together, active as we serve together in the world.

Help me, dear Lord, to live as if all of this is true. Help me to live in light of the resurrection, to experience the reality of your power as I serve you by serving others. Amen.