April 17, 2024

“He Is Risen!”

R.C. Sproul
“He Is Risen!”

What must it have been like to hear the news of Jesus' resurrection on that first Lord's Day? Today, R.C. Sproul imagines the morning when Christ was raised.


Sometimes I wish that I had the availability of a time machine that I could crawl in and have it transport me back through the centuries, and even the millennium, that I might be an eyewitness of the great events of history.

And as I was thinking about this this morning, I realized that the only time machine that I have is my imagination. And so, I imagined that I lived two thousand years ago in the little village of Bethany above the Mount of Olives and right down the street from the home of Lazarus and Mary and Martha. And I remember waking up that morning, that Sunday morning, the first day of the week, and that my heart was heavy.

On that previous Friday, I had gone down the road and crossed the Brook Kidron and journeyed to the place of the skull called Golgotha. And I watched my hero, the Man in whom I had invested all of my hopes, be executed as a criminal. And I watched as He breathed His last. And I gazed as the soldiers took His body down from the cross. And I turned and left that odious place as a man now without Christ and, therefore, without hope. My feet were heavy as I made my way back home.

And those memories were still in my mind that Sunday morning as I got out of my bed. And, of course, I couldn’t step outside and get the newspaper because they didn’t have newspapers. Nor could I turn on my radio because they didn’t have radios. Nor could I switch on my television to CNN to see what the latest bulletins would be in world history because there was no television. In those days, important messages of important events were transmitted by messenger.

So, I went out of my house, and I gazed across the Valley of Kidron. And I noticed that the base of the circuitous road that came from the Old City of Jerusalem, somebody running. And I noticed, from his feet, that he had to be bringing good tidings. And as he came up the hill, and through the Mount of Olives, and now into the environs of the village of Bethany, he began to scream his message. And in my reverie I wondered what that message would be.

And so, I thought of different options. I thought maybe the messenger would be screaming at the top of his lungs, “Jewish rabbi’s body is missing from the tomb.” But no, that’s too complicated. They wouldn’t have announced it like that. It had to be brief. It had to be terse. It had to be to the point. And so, I settled on this simple message: “He has risen.”

He has risen indeed.