The Times West Virginian

March 31, 2013

‘He is risen’ magnificent and eternal Easter gift

Times West Virginian

— The sun is a little warmer. The days are a little longer. Nature yawns and stretches from its long winter hibernation, and we are once more energized by the thoughts of sunny and warm summer days of rejuvenation and growth. The air carries the fragrance of budding and blooming flowers and foliage.

Winter has passed, and welcomed change knocks on our door of expectation. The long-anticipated days of spring have sprung.

The promise of spring still remains one of new birth and the guaranteed resurrection of nature’s planned cycles of growth and beauty. During this time of each year, we of the Christian faith celebrate, with great joy and reassurance, the Passion, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ our Savior.

This annual Holy Week is celebrated all around the world in honor and thanks for the hope that was birthed with the events of Christ’s death and resurrection in that long ago biblical account that has been passed down from generation to generation.

To many, the treasured stories of those ancient happenings are but tales told by writers who were greatly influenced by Christ’s life and teachings. But to those of us who daily endeavor to follow His example and principles, the resurrection of Jesus Christ is our eternal endeavor and continued hope.

Over the years, the Easter celebration has expanded to include the Easter Bunny, colored eggs and candies of all sorts, shapes and sizes. New apparel and the wearing of our very best to worship and celebrate has been a sustained tradition symbolizing the new birth made possible by the empty tomb that triumphantly followed the horrible crucifixion.

Of all the words we could choose to identify the meaning and purpose of Easter, likely the most meaningful would be hope. No matter how tumultuous, secular and disobedient the era of history in which we find ourselves is, there shall forever remain a beacon of truth, assurance, and hope found in the reality of a Christ of Easter’s resurrection.

The believers found in the Bible and also the believers of today still observe Easter’s magnificent and eternal gift by the greeting: “He is risen,” answered by the proclamation, “He is risen indeed.” The answer to our personal and national problems at this Easter season remains in the acceptance and practice of the result of the event stated in the phrase: “He is risen.” The tomb is forever empty. He lives. A happy and blessed Easter to all.

— Elton Slusser