I hope you had a happy, memorable and inspirational Easter. 'Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!' I want to ask, 'Is our reaction to the proclamation of Christ risen a learned response, or from the mind and heart?'
For example, do you believe in your mind, and feel in your heart and soul that Jesus was dead on that first Good Friday, but was raised up and came out of the tomb on that first Easter Sunday morning? And that he is alive and active in our world today? Furthermore, do you believe that you can meet him and know him today, and that he can take you through death to the risen life with him?
You may have attended worship during Holy Week and Easter and may be able to say 'Yes' to these questions – 'Jesus is risen. I have met him in worship and daily life!' On the other hand, Easter may have come and gone, and Jesus being risen has no bearing on your life. Easter simply provides a pleasant holiday break.
Also, it could be that you haven't thought very much about Jesus and the Resurrection: it hasn't been an issue for you. Or maybe, you have so many responsibilities, difficulties and anxieties to contend with that thoughts about Jesus rising have been pushed to the side.
So, why might you believe in the resurrection of Jesus? You might do so because you might believe in Jesus himself – the itinerant preacher from Galilee, the healer of the sick and needy, the man of compassion and forgiveness, the bringer of salvation and peace, the one who can ultimately take us through death and raise us up from death to life. In other words, you might discover and conclude that every aspect of Jesus' being and purpose was to show love – towards you.
When that happens, you will know that Jesus was dead but was raised up – that he is alive, that you have met him, that he has helped you. And that he will walk beside you through death to the risen life with him.