Our Lord is Risen and He Is with His Gathered Church

EasterMessageOn this Resurrection Sunday, as believers in Jesus Christ, we shout to one another and before the world , “But now is Christ risen from the dead!” And rejoicing in His victory over our sin, death, the grave and hell, we also shout, “O death, where is thy sting; O grave, where the victory? …thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Cor.15:20, 55,57).

For our Easter gospel comfort and hope in this world of trouble, unrest, and fear, when we cannot gather publicly for worship, we may profit from this wonderful message of Rev. C. Haak, “The Risen Lord and the Gathered Church.” Originally a special message for Easter on the Reformed Witness Hour, it was transcribed and printed in the Standard Bearer in 2009. You will find it most appropriate for these times. The risen Lord is in the midst of His church and to her He proclaims, “Peace be unto you.” Hallelujah!

Here’s an excerpt – be sure to go and read the rest of the article.

That is the thing that we must see on this day on which we remember the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. What we must remember is that it was the great concern of the risen Lord on His resurrection day that His church know that He is risen. He appeared to them, and through these appearances He brought them to see the wonder of the resurrection gospel. It came to something of a climax when He appeared to His disciples who were gathered on the resurrection night in the upper room. That is the passage that we find in Luke 24:36-46.

But remember the thought. The thought is this: that the Lord’s great concern was for His church. His church must have no doubt, no uncertainty, no misconception concerning the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is the truth that you absolutely must know. And you must know what it means, that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. If you do not know that, your life is vain. If you do not know that Jesus Christ is risen from the dead, you are yet in your sin. You are dead. If you do not know that Jesus Christ is risen, and if you do not know it in your heart, then in reality you are living your life only inches from the brink of hell.

This is the gospel: Christ is risen from the dead! And the call of the gospel is: Repent and believe. You as a teenager, you as a college student, you as an expectant mother, a husband or wife, a child—you need to know that Jesus Christ is risen. You must lay hold of that truth by faith.

I said, What a day that was when Jesus arose from the dead. But what a night it was, too, when Jesus’ disciples were gathered in the upper room, behind locked doors. They were discussing the events of the day. And what a discussion it was. There must have been great amazement. And there must have been also great misconception. For it is very plain that the disciples in the upper room that night were thinking in terms of the resurrection of Lazarus. The Lord had raised Lazarus from the dead and Lazarus had come back to this life. The disciples were convinced at this point that Jesus was not dead, that He was indeed risen. But they did not understand the resurrection. They thought that perhaps the Lord had cheated death, and that He had robbed the grave. They had all kinds of questions. Was He now some kind of spirit? Was it truly the Lord? Somehow He was raised. Somehow, perhaps, He was going to come back to them, and things would be like they were before that terrible weekend of the cross.

And we read in the Scriptures that “as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.” Suddenly the Lord Jesus Christ stood in their midst, the doors being locked. And there was a response of terror among them.

But before we go to that response of terror, I want to point out to you again this fact that Jesus stood in the midst of them. The Lord is concerned about His church. He has come—where? Well, He has come into the midst of His church. He has come into the midst of those who loved Him and were talking about Him—those who believed, by the grace of God, that He was the Messiah, those whose faith was all wrapped up in Him. The Lord does not come to the disinterested. The Lord does not come to the indifferent one, who sits in church and does not really care today about this gospel. The Lord does not come to them. But He comes to those in whom grace has provoked a profound living interest in Him, to those who on this day desire that the light of the resurrection shine upon their souls. The Lord comes into His church.

If you desire to listen to another edifying Easter gospel message, you are encouraged to hear Rev. R. Kleyn expound 1 Cor.15:20 under the title “Now Is Christ Risen.” It is today’s message on the Reformed Witness Hour.