By Caitlin Funnel

Today, our Lord and Savior- Prince of Peace, the Lamb, the Light of the World, the Rock of Ages, the Bread of Life, the Messiah- has risen. He was dead for three days, but today He overcame the grave and was returned to us. We can glory in the fact that He would sacrifice Himself for our sins. We should rejoice, for His suffering is our redemption! He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life; there is no way to the Father but through the grace of His open-armed sacrifice. Praise the Lord, all you saints, for He has overcome the grave! But also, take to heart today that He was returned to us.

 “Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome went out and purchased burial spices so they could anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb.” (Mark 16:1-2, NLT) These women were going to the grave of a beloved friend. “But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside. When they entered the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a white robe sitting on the right side. The women were shocked, but the angel said, ‘Don’t be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!” (Mark 16:4-6, NLT)

These women went to the tomb to anoint their beloved, and found that He was alive. How would your heart leap if a friend was dead, but days into mourning and despairing over loss, they were alive again? Would your soul sing? Would you be able to stand? How your heart would rejoice! Jesus is our Lord, just as He was Lord to Mary Magdalene, Mary and Salome. But He is our friend as well as our Redeemer. He desires our intimacy and adoration above our servanthood. “I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in His slaves. Now you are my friends.” (John 15:15, NLT)

Let us rejoice in the sacrifice that has redeemed us. But may we rejoice even more for His person! May we delight in the friend that has been returned to us.

Emmanuel, God is with