Easter Sunday – The Incarnation of Glory
Righteous Father, though the world does not know you, I know you, and they know that you have sent me. I have made you known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love you have for me may be in them and that I myself may be in them (John 17:25-26).
The Bible is the story of the coming of God’s Kingdom into a sin-filled, dark, and broken world. The theme of Salvation history that runs throughout scripture is drawn from its one, central unifying event – the Incarnation. On Easter you may be surprised I did not point to the resurrection but bear with me. When God became human, he united all humanity with himself and was therefore able to act on our behalf, in our stead doing perfectly what we must do but can’t. He was the sinless for the sinner, the righteous for the unrighteous, the Way, the Truth, and the Life for the lost, the deceived and the dead. He took on the form of a servant, suffered death on a cross and rose to defeat death and usher in his eternal kingdom.
All this was possible because he became like us, one of us, incarnate. Now, on this glorious Easter day, this last phrase of Jesus’ High Priestly Prayer brings home this powerful point. It’s not just that Christ redeemed us, but in that redemption, we are made the very vessels of Christ himself. That should astonish us! Paul said it this way, “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).
Did you hear it? Christ in you? That was Jesus’ prayer, “that I myself may be in them.” The resurrection redeems us from sin, but it offers so much more than that. Hear Paul again, “if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his” (Romans 6:5). What does it mean that we were united with Christ in his resurrection? Put simply, when Christ rose on Easter 2,000 years ago, we rose with him! His victory was our victory. His triumph over death covered us as well. And his glorification as the risen Son showers glory over us.
We rightly rejoice today in remembering what happened for us 2,000 years ago on a quiet Sunday in Palestine. Yet how much more should we rejoice in experiencing that resurrection in our lives every day? Every day the love of the Father for the Son is ours. Every day the grace of God surrounds us, the mercy of God upholds us, the power of God equips us, and the glory of God covers us. So, let us affirm with confidence these great Easter words, “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Peter 1:3).
Encouragement for the Day
Because He lives, we can face tomorrow, because He lives all fear is gone, because we know he holds the future, and life is worth the living just because he lives.
Lord God, heavenly Father, we rejoice this Easter morning that just as you raised your son from the dead, so we too have been raised to newness of life in him. Help us experience the joy of this new life not only today, but through all the days you give us from this day forward. Remind us every morning of your promise, that if anyone is in Christ, they are a new creature, the old has gone in the new has come. Help us to live as the new creation, the resurrected people of God, citizens of his Kingdom come and coming. Give us a fresh vision for what it means to be Kingdom people, and may we remain faithful to you until that day when the kingdom of this world has become the Kingdom of our God and of his Christ and he shall reign forever and ever. He is risen, he is risen indeed! Amen.