. . . Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, as He said. Matthew 28:5b-6a
You don't have to be an art lover to know the name, Michelangelo.
One of the greatest artists of all time, apparently Mike also could be a pretty good public speaker. One day, at least according to the story I have been told, he got his dander up and addressed some of his fellow artists.
With some disappointment in his voice, he asked them, "Why do you keep filling gallery after gallery with endless pictures on the one theme of Christ in weakness, Christ on the cross and, most of all, Christ hanging dead? Why do you concentrate on that passing episode as if . . . the curtain dropped down there on disaster and defeat? That dreadful scene lasted only a few hours. But through unending eternity Christ is alive; Christ rules and reigns and triumphs!"
Now I believe that Jesus' death on the cross was far more representative of His power and commitment than it was of any weakness. Even so, the artists had a point: Jesus' life, suffering, and death are important, unbelievably important. Without them, we have no salvation.
But it needs to be remembered that Jesus' life did not permanently end with His death upon the cross of Calvary.
There is a resurrection and it is that event which shouts the triumphant message that Jesus' sufferings and His sacrifices have 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. Today, all of Christianity ought to shout the ancient greeting of the Church: "Christ is risen!" And from heaven comes this reply, "He is risen, indeed!"
May the risen Christ always live within your heart. Amen.
From a devotion originally written for "By the Way"
THE PRAYER: Dear Heavenly Father, with a grateful heart I thank You for sending Your Son Jesus to die for me. Because He has risen from the dead, I trust Him for my eternal salvation. On this Easter and always, I give you praise and thanksgiving. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries