By Joan Clayton : Religion Columnist
Ring the bells. He is risen. Shout it from the rooftops. We celebrate the glorious news of the ages. Jesus has conquered death and his love is stronger than death. The Resurrection comes with gratitude and hope for the soul.
In Israel, olive oil is precious and is used extensively. To obtain oil from the olive requires intense pressure. The olive is put into a press and squeezed until the oil is released. In a sense, Jesus endured that same pressure.
No other incident in human history can fill the believer with so much hope and confidence. It’s the greatest news given to mankind.
The depths of Jesus’ love were shown on an old wooden cross on a lonely hill called Golgotha. Can you hear the pounding of the nails into his wrists and feet? Can you see the anguish of Jesus gasping for breath as he tries to breathe? Can you hear the shouts from the soldiers, the mockery and the snapping stings as they beat his back with leather straps with cutting sharp metal tongs? Can you begin to grasp the endless love required for such a task? Can you see the love in Jesus’ eyes … love so deep it was worth dying for?
Whatever hardship we encounter in life does not compare to Jesus’ suffering and yet he did it willingly because of love. The greatest pain in life must now surrender in view of the greatest love displayed on the cross.
He is risen. It’s music to our ears. Our sins have been nailed to a cross and the precious blood of Jesus has canceled sins’ debts. We have been redeemed. Our freedom has been bought with an immeasurable price. No matter how hard or impossible a situation, we never give up because Jesus did not give up on us. What a Savior.
The Resurrection is the tenant of our faith. It is God’s receipt that Jesus’ death is sufficient payment for our sins. Those who have received so great a gift will never have to stand in judgment, “So now, those who are in Christ Jesus are not judged guilty” (Romans 8:1 NCV).
Because of the Resurrection we will live forever with Jesus. The same power that raised Jesus from the dead resides in his believers. No sealed casket can hold a believer. No grave can hold a believer down. Hallelujah. Even at death’s door, the assurance of the Resurrection gives triumph and victory.
The message of the Resurrection gives confidence for today and hope for tomorrow. It gives strength through life’s temporary trials.
I share my poem that illustrates my deepest feelings:
“I had a dream, a frightful sight. It was so dark, as dark as night.
Upon a cross, there was a form. It was hard to see in such a storm.
Writhing in pain jeers from the crowd. Roman soldiers, looking proud.
I looked again and I gasped in tears. It was I on the cross for the sins of my years.
Then Jesus came and took my place. All was forgiven and my sins erased.
I awoke to proclaim the wondrous praise of that dear One, such boundless grace.
He chose the cross, such agony. He paid the price for you and me.”
He is risen.
He is risen indeed.