Indeed that phrase is part of our Communion service, included in the Eucharistic Prayer. Note the use of tense – not an event in the past - Christ has risen, but spoken in the present – Christ is risen.
Although the events of that first Easter morning occurred around two thousand years ago, their significance and relevance are just as important today. The resurrection is the cornerstone of the Christian faith. It is the truth on which our faith stands. It is fundamental to our belief in a risen Messiah who died on the cross, was buried and then rose again.
It is about new life after death, new hope after despair and new beginnings after endings. If there had been no resurrection, there would be no hope. But the events of that early morning changed the world and continue to do so.
When Mary Magdalene and the other disciples witnessed the empty tomb they did not understand what was going on. How could they? No-one had ever risen from the dead before. We are told from the Bible that it was only when they saw the Lord that some of them realised that Jesus’ words were true and that he had indeed risen, just as he said he would.
Think of the story of Thomas - “Doubting Thomas” as he became known. He claimed that he would only believe when he had seen “The mark of the nails in his hands….” His reaction when he did see the signs that overcame his doubts, “My Lord and my God” are testimony to the awe and wonder that all Christians should feel at the world changing events of the resurrection. Jesus replies to Thomas, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.”
Although we have not seen for ourselves the risen Lord Jesus, we believe in Him as our Saviour. We live by faith, not by sight. But our faith in the resurrection can sustain us throughout our lives – on earth and in heaven – as we celebrate this wonderful event.
We can confidently proclaim
ALLELUIA, CHRIST IS RISEN,
HE IS RISEN INDEED, ALLELUIA.
May the risen Lord be your constant companion this Easter and always.