April 5, 2008
God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8
To Christians, the crucifixion of the Savior will always remain one of the most powerful and moving of all the Lord’s manifold graces.
That is understandable. Because of the Christ’s sacrifice on the cross the price for our salvation has been paid.
Even so, there is a rest of the story.
One day, when Michelangelo's skills were at their best, he turned to his fellow artists and said with disappointment in his voice, "Why do you keep filling gallery after gallery with endless pictures on the one theme of Christ on the cross, and most of all, Christ hanging dead? Why do you concentrate on the passing episode as if the curtain dropped down there on disaster and defeat? That dreadful scene lasted only a few hours. But to the unending eternity Christ is alive; Christ rules and reigns and triumphs!"
Michelangelo said it as good as anyone can.
Easter is the triumphant message from God that Jesus' sacrifice on the cross has been accepted. No longer is death in control. No longer is the grave the ultimate end for humanity.
Because Jesus has risen, we too will rise. All of Christianity continues to shout the ancient greeting of the church: "Christ is risen!" And from heaven comes the reply, "He is risen, indeed!" May the risen Christ always live within your heart.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, I rejoice with thanksgiving! Because of Your ultimate sacrifice and triumph over death, the grave is no longer the ultimate end for humanity. Help me to share the good news of the Risen Christ with those around me. In Your Name. Amen.
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries