For the first few centuries of Christianity, during the time when to be a follower of Christ was to be part of a persecuted minority, subject to scorn, sometimes even death at the hands of the authorities, Christians very often had to keep the beliefs secret. They could not openly speak of their faith, or wear any clothing or jewelry that identified them as members of what many in the Roman Empire considered to be a seditious sect.
As an underground movement, they had to develop ways to recognize one another. One such way was the use of a passphrase. When a Christian would seek to recognize another follower of the Lord, he would say “He has risen.” If the other person would respond “He has risen indeed”, they would each know that the other was a follower of Jesus.
In our time, here in America, Christians are not persecuted (though many do feel that our faith is often held up to ridicule and scorn by others). Still, those of us who claim to follow Jesus often live our lives in such a way that no one would ever guess that we indeed followers of the Christ. We don’t always live as Jesus taught, following the Great Commandment to love God with all our hearts and souls, and loving our neighbors as ourselves. We often are afraid even to speak of our Christian faith, as if we are afraid of offending those who don’t believe.
Christ commanded all of his followers on the day of his ascension into God’s Kingdom to “make disciples of all the nations of the world.” If indeed we are Christians we too must follow the Great Commission. And we cannot do this if we are afraid to speak the great truth of our faith, the truth that was revealed fully on the first Easter Morning, that Jesus has indeed risen from the dead. He has proved by his life, death, and resurrection that he indeed is the Son of God, our Lord and Savior.
He has risen. He has risen indeed! This is the message of Easter, a message each of us who follow Christ should joyfully share with all those we come into contact with today. And if indeed we believe this message, let rededicate ourselves today to living our lives as if we believe in, and love our Risen Savior.
May you have blessed Easter.
Your brother in Christ,