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Have You Seen Jesus?

By Rev Canon S Sebastian Campbell

Do you know the words to the Easter greeting that has been used in the Christian church for almost 2,000 years? Let’s try it:

Priest: Alleluia, Christ is Christ!
People: The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

You have to sound really loud and happy when you answer, because it is such good news. Let the children proclaim it!

Priest: Alleluia, Christ is Christ!
People: The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia!

Leader: Jesus did something really great, didn’t He? What did He do?
Answer: Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee that those who sleep in death will also be raised. (1 Corinthians 15:20).
Jesus robbed death of its victory. Therefore we can join with St. Paul in proclaiming the Victory of Easter:

“Death is destroyed; victory is complete!
 O death where is your sting?
 O grave where is your victory?”

But thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:54ff)

God’s people, the Israelites, had many enemies throughout their history.
1. The Egyptians were their enemies but at the Red Sea God gave Israel the victory.
2. God’s people had another victory when the walls of Jericho came tumbling down.
3. The Philistines were enemies of God’s people. But God raised up the young David who killed the giant of the Philistines.

With God’s help the Israelites were able to defeat many enemies, but there was one enemy they could not defeat. And who was that enemy?

Answer: Death. Death always comes in the end. But Jesus changed all that. Jesus took on the final enemy of God’s people, and He won!

We no longer have to be afraid of death. Our bodies still get old and die, but we will come alive again – to live forever with God.

Before Jesus the last word was death; when you’re dead, you done. Now the resurrection of Jesus changes that. There is life, hope beyond the grave. So to the Christian the last word is not death, the last word is now: All: JESUS! Let us join St Paul: And if Christ has not been raised from death, then we have nothing to preach and you have nothing to believe. Then your faith is in vain and you are still lost in your sins. It would also mean that the believers in Christ who have died are lost. But the truth is that Christ has been raised from death as the guarantee that those who sleep in death will also be raised. (1 Cor. 15:14ff).

Now list some expressions, or metaphors that speak to Easter. Complete the sentence: Easter is a season of life, hope, joy…what else?

Easter is an attitude of living. So important it is to us Christians ( the new Israel) we celebrate Easter every week, Sunday by Sunday. We are an Easter people without it there can be no Christian, no hope, and no life after death. We have renamed Sunday the Lord’s Day. On this day Christ proved to be Lord over life and death.

Hymn 35 (A&M) expresses it:
“Again the Lord’s own day is here
The day to Christian people dear,
As, week by week, it bids them tell
How Jesus rose from death and hell.”

Our theme today is a question: Have you seen Jesus? The risen Jesus; the life-giving Jesus, the victorious Jesus. The one who in John 10:10 says: “I have come that you might have life.”
A Cursillo song asks us, “Have You seen Jesus my Lord, he is here in plain view.”
Where? You may ask?
Let us share our testimony of encountering the living Christ.

Testimony of Seeing Jesus
“Have you ever looked at the sunset
With the sky mellowin’ red
And the clouds suspended like feathers
Then I say, you’ve seen Jesus my Lord!

Have you ever stood in the family
With the Lord there in your midst;
Seen the face of Christ on your brother;
Then I say, you’ve seen Jesus my Lord!”

Bible Testimony:

1. Genesis 33:1-10 – Jacob meets Esau. Two brothers who were hostile to each other. Jacob outsmarting his brother and steals his birthright. How long can we be hostile; life is meant to be lived in happiness, and heart attacks without warning are cutting us down and sending us to an early grave. We must heal broken relationships before it’s too late. See Genesis 33:3, 4, 10 – Great climax is to see your face for me like seeing the face of God.
2. Luke 24 – The walk to Emmanus.

Jesus was in the midst of his friends and they did not even know it. See verse 30 – in the breaking of the bread they knew him; and in verse 32 – they knew him in the study of scripture, “they said to each other, wasn’t it like a fire burning in us on the road and explained the scripture to us?”

The testimony rings on in verse 33, 34 – they got up at once and went back to Jerusalem where they found the eleven disciples gathered together with the others and saying: “The Lord is risen indeed….”

From this we get the Easter Acclamation: “Alleluia! Christ is risen….. The Lord is risen indeed, Alleluia!!”
We can see the risen Christ, then, in our relationships and in our worship.

My brothers and sisters in Christ: the good news of Easter is that nothing need defeat us anymore – not discouragement, not misfortune, not rejection, not pain, no enemy, no slanderer, not even death. The good news is that we don’t have to wait until we die to share in the power of the resurrection. We can begin to do it right now.

This is what we celebrate as we now prepare to break bread together on this great birthday of our Christian faith.
Let us say the Easter greeting just one more time. Let us all join in the acclamation.
Priest: Alleluia! Christ is risen!
All: The Lord is risen indeed. Alleluia
Up from the grave He arose.

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