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Christ is Risen!

There is nothing quite like the Easter season. After walking with the Savior through the season of Lent and the events of Holy Week— His suffering and death — and then standing in the light of the empty tomb on Easter morning, my heart is just filled with joy. I’m guessing your heart is too.

After He rose from the dead, the Bible tells us that Jesus appeared to more than 500 people before His ascension into heaven. Jesus came to Peter. Here was a man who needed to see Jesus alive if he wasn’t going to spend the rest of his life haunted by his denial of Jesus on that Good Friday. Can you imagine Peter’s excitement as his Lord appeared to him?

You’ll remember that the disciple Thomas said that he wouldn’t believe that Jesus was raised from the dead unless he himself saw Him. Seeing is believing, Thomas said. So Jesus appeared to Thomas and let him see.

Mary Magdalene was weeping in the garden when Jesus appeared to her. When she realized who it was she cried out in amazement and excitement and joy: “Rabboni!”

Remember how Jesus showed Himself to those disciples on the road to Emmaus, when He changed despair into hope? Or how He came to the ten disciples behind the locked doors, when He changed fear into courage? Or when He appeared to the 500 described in 1 Corinthians?

Jesus appeared to Paul on the Damascus Road. It was an appearance that changed Paul from one of Christianity’s greatest persecutors to one of Christianity’s greatest missionaries. Paul describes it like this: “Then last of all He was seen by me also.” (1 Corinthians 15:8 NKJV)

Jesus’ rising is real. It is fact. He appeared to Peter and Thomas and Mary and Paul and so many others. And His appearing made such a big difference in their faith and in their lives. In fact, it made all the difference.

What about you? Have you seen Him? Has He appeared to you? He has, you know. He has appeared to you over and over again in His Word. He has appeared to you through the Sacraments. He has appeared to you through others as they share His mercy and His grace and His love with you. You and I can say with Paul: He was seen by me. I know Him. He’s my Savior. He’s my Lord. He lives in me and I am His child. And because we have seen Him by faith, every day becomes a day filled with the joy of Easter. Every day is filled with “Alleluias” to the living Lord. Every day we can say by faith and with conviction: Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!!