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Archive for the ‘Easter Joy & Inspiration’ Category

“He is Jesus!” ~ Reader’s Theater Script

This Reader’s Theater script may be presented in a local church without cost or further permission.  See our usage permission information at the end of this post for full details.



DIRECTOR’S  NOTE:  This Reader’s Theater Script calls for 3 readers.  Two of the readers should be male, and one should be female.  A media presentation could be added for greater impact, with appropriate slides to aid in telling the story.  This script could be used at any time of year, but it would be especially effective on Palm Sunday or Easter Sunday. 


Female Reader:  Prophets foretold His birth centuries before it occurred.
An angel appeared to His mother to announce the miracle of his conception.

Male ReaderHis Father chose as His mother an unknown maiden with a heart inclined to God and ready to surrender herself to God’s will.

Female Reader:  He left His heavenly home to come into a world that seemed to have no room for Him.

Male ReaderHe was born in Bethlehem to fulfill prophecy of His royal birth.

Female Reader:  And yet, He was born in the humblest of circumstances in order to identify fully with humankind and because He had no intention of becoming an earthly King.

Male ReaderHis birth was celebrated by angels and accompanied by a phenomenal Heavenly star in order to proclaim His deity.

Female Reader:  Modest working men were the first to hear of His coming, demonstrating that no wealth is necessary to know Him.

Male ReaderWise men of wealth and position travelled from far away to bring gifts to Him and worship the One whose birth could be seen in the Heavens, showing that He was and is the King of Kings.

Female Reader:  He astonished the well-educated scholars in the temple at a young age, demonstrating that He is the Word made flesh.

Male ReaderHe healed sickness, demonstrating His compassion and His power over human frailty.
He raised the dead, demonstrating His power over death and the coming end of sorrow.

Female Reader:  He multiplied the provisions of men, taking care of earthly need and demonstrating that God can take what we offer and do more with it that we could imagine.
He walked on water and calmed the storm, demonstrating His supremacy over all created things and what we call the “laws of nature.”

Male Reader:  He taught with authority because He was the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
Female Reader:  He taught profound truth through the simplicity of parables so that all people and even children could understand.

Male ReaderHe wept at the sorrow of death and at the tragic cost of rejecting God’s plan, demonstrating His incarnation.

Female Reader:  He is Emmanuel, God with us,… even in grief, in sorrow, in rejection, and in loss.

Male Reader:  He demonstrated humility in washing the feet of His own disciples.

Female Reader:  He foretold His own death and resurrection and the denial of one of His closest followers.

Male Reader:  He chose God’s will for Himself and submitted to a mockery of a trial so that He could take our guilt.

Female Reader:  He was beaten, despised, humiliated and condemned so that we could be redeemed.

Male Reader:  He carried much more than a heavy wooden cross on His back.
He carried the weight of the sin of all mankind.

Female Reader:  The hands that blessed and healed were nailed to a cross.

Male Reader:  The beautiful feet that had carried the message of God’s love and mercy were pierced so that He could carry our sin to the mercy seat.

Female Reader:  The heart that beat with more love than you or I could fathom was stilled as He gave up His life so that we could have life everlasting.

Male ReaderHe commited His spirit to God and spoke the words of victory that echo through eternity: “It is finished!”

** (Drama  Director’s Note:  Here, a flash of light followed by momentary darkness would be very dramatic and appropriate.  At the very least, there should be a slight pause before the reading resumes.)

Prophetic Voice:  “He was in the beginning with God, and with Him everything that was created was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.”

Male and Female ReadersHe is life, and He came to give life. And yet, …He endured death, …and darkness, …and Hell.

Prophetic Voice “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”

Male Reader:  He did not stay in the tomb. He was no longer there, for He had risen, just as He said.

Female Reader:  He appeared to Mary, to his disciples, and to other followers. He was not bound by death or by the walls of a tomb.

Male and Female Readers:  He is alive!

Male Reader:  After spending some time with them, He told His followers that He must leave so that the Holy Spirit could come and inhabit the hearts of all believers.

Female Reader:  He told them what he would be doing while they were apart.
He is preparing a place in Heaven, reigning as Sovereign Lord at the right hand of God the Father, and praying for believers.

Male Reader:  He gave them their mission:

Prophetic Voice:  “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit; teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world.”

Male Reader:  He is with us. He is praying for us. He is preparing a place for us.

Female Reader:  He is still changing lives, touching hearts, and healing hurts.

Male and Female Readers:  He is the Savior of the world.

Male Reader:  He is the Redeemer whose love for mankind could not be crucified.

Female Reader:  He is the Lord of All.

Male Reader:  He is the beginning and the end.

Female Reader:  He is the Bridegroom, whose love for His bride, the Church, is the most pure and sacrificial of all loves.

Male ReaderHe is the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.

Female Reader:  He is the Living Water, bringing unquenchable life.

Male Reader:  He is the King of Glory and the hope of mankind.

Female Reader:  He is the joy of man’s desiring.

Male and Female Readers:  He is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Prophetic Voice joins Male and Female Readers:  He is Jesus!



This post originated in the heart of God before the foundation of the World.
The words were put together by Cynthia A. Boyd to proclaim Jesus as Lord and Savior.

Do you know someone who is looking for answers?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page. We hope that it has been helpful to you. If you or someone that you know is looking for answers about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”. The links provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions. Here is the link to “Do You Know Jesus?”: http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and eternity.


“He is Jesus!”, copyright 2012 by Cynthia A. Boyd, all rights reserved.
* Sharing in a publication or on a website: To share this post, only the URL (see below) may be copied or posted unless permission is obtained. Permission may be requested through a comment on this post. The comment will not be seen by anyone but our blog editor, and we will correspond with you by e-mail. http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/2012/01/03/he-is-jesus/
* Reader’s Theater presentation: Permission is granted for printing copies for 3 readers and a drama coach in order to present this as a reader’s theater presentation in a local church. However, permission must be obtained for audio or video recording if this is used as a reading.
We’ve done the preparation work for you! (See link below)
Note: A  non – Reader’s Theater  version of this post, written as prose, can be found at:


The Reality of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ


If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.    Romans 8:11

Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised— who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.    Romans 8:34

If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.    Romans 10:9

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces.    Isaiah 25:8

But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; on him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and by his stripes we are healed.   Isaiah 53:5

“As for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last He will take His stand on the earth.”    Job 19:25

God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.    1 Corinthians 6:14

…who through him are believers in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.    1 Peter 1:21

“If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins.”   1 Corinthians 15:17

Easter  He is not here for He is risen

Resurrection Quotes

The tomb of Christ is famous because of what it DOES NOT CONTAIN.  —  Sam Morris

We live and die; Christ died and lived!  —  John Stott

The resurrection of Jesus changes the face of death for all His people. Death is no longer a prison, but a passage into God’s presence.  Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.  —  Clarence W. Hall

Jesus - In front of tomb 1The primary source of the appeal of Christianity is Jesus – His incarnation, His life, His crucifixion, and His resurrection.  —  K. Latourette

…Luke associates John with Peter in Acts, when, after the Resurrection, that strange boldness had come upon the disciples.  —  Alfred Noyes

“The cross is a one time visual representation of God’s grief over sin.”  —  Dean L. Harvey

“Live in the awareness that Christ lives and that He lives in His people.”  —  Julien B. Weil

“The cross is the victory, the resurrection is the triumph…The resurrection is the public display of the victory, the triumph of the crucified one.”  —  Leon Morris

“The best proof that Christ has risen is that He is still alive. And for the immense majority of our contemporaries, the only way of seeing Him alive is for us Christians to love one another.”   —  Louis Evely

♪ ♫  “Christ the Lord is risen today, sons of men and angels say. Raise your joys and triumphs high; Sing ye heavens, and earth reply.”   —  Charles Wesley (from the Hymn “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”)

All of heaven is interested in the cross of Christ, hell afraid of it, while men are the only ones to ignore its meaning.   —  Oswald Chambers

According to the laws of legal evidence used in courts of law, there is more evidence for the historical fact of the resurrection of Jesus Christ than for just about any other event in history.  —  Harvard Law Professor Dr. Simon Greenleaf

Easter greeting card with bells♪ ♫ “Hear the bells ringing!
They’re singing that we can be born again!
Hear the bells ringing!
They’re singing, ‘Christ is risen from the dead!’

The angel up on the tombstone said, He is risen just as he said!
Quickly now, go tell His disciples that Jesus Christ is no longer dead

Joy to the world!  He is risen!  Alleluia!”

—  Keith Green, The Easter Song

There is no historic incident better or more variously supported than the resurrection of Christ.  —  Brooke Foss Wescott

The Gospels do not explain the Resurrection; the Resurrection explains the Gospels. Belief in the Resurrection is not an appendage to the Christian faith; it is the Christian faith.   —  John S. Whale

♪ ♫  “Up from the grave he arose; with a mighty triumph o’er his foes!
He arose a victor from the dark domain,
and He lives forever with His saints to reign!
He arose!  He arose!  Hallelujah!  Christ arose!

—  from ‘Up from the Grave He Arose’

Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime.   —  Martin Luther

The resurrection power of Jesus broke Satan’s captive power. When He led the Old Testament saints from paradise to heaven, He led captivity captive!   — Leon Morris

Our justification hinges on a risen life, present in us now because Christ is present with us now.   —  Paul F.M. Zaul

Our old history ends with the cross; our new history begins with the resurrection.   —  Watchman Nee

The entire plan for the future has its key in the resurrection.   – – Billy Graham

Easter morning discovery at tomb

There is more evidence that Jesus rose from the dead than there is that Julius Caesar ever lived or that Alexander the Great died at the age of thirty-three.  – – Billy Graham

Note:  The quotations and scriptures above were found at  http://www.unlockingthebible.org/resurrection-easter-quotes-bible-verses/

Francine Rivers

“It was no accident, no coincidence, that the seasons came round and round year after year. It was the Lord speaking to us all and showing us over and over again the birth, life, death, and resurrection of his only begotten Son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, our Lord. It was like a best-loved story being told day after day with each sunrise and sunset, year after year with the seasons, down through the ages since time began.”  ―   Francine Rivers  The Last Sin Eater

N.T. Wright

“…left to ourselves we lapse into a kind of collusion with entrophy, acquiescing in the general belief that things may be getting worse but that there’s nothing much we can do about them. And we are wrong. Our task in the present…is to live as resurrection people in between Easter and the final day, with our Christian life, corporate and individual, in both worship and mission, as a sign of the first and a foretaste of the second.”  ―   N. T. Wright   Surprised by Hope:  Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church

Eugene H. Peterson

“It is not easy to convey a sense of wonder, let alone resurrection wonder, to another.  It’s the very nature of wonder to catch us off guard, to circumvent expectations and assumptions.  Wonder can’t be packaged, and it can’t be worked up.  It requires some sense of being there and some sense of engagement.”  ―   Eugene H. Peterson

Charles Colson

“I know the resurrection is a fact, and Watergate proved it to me. How? Because 12 men testified they had seen Jesus raised from the dead, then they proclaimed that truth for 40 years, never once denying it. Every one was beaten, tortured, stoned and put in prison. They would not have endured that if it weren’t true. Watergate embroiled 12 of the most powerful men in the world-and they couldn’t keep a lie for three weeks. You’re telling me 12 apostles could keep a lie for 40 years? Absolutely impossible.”
―   Charles Colson

Charles R. Swindoll

“The devil, darkness, and death may swagger and boast, the pangs of life will sting for a while longer, but don’t worry; the forces of evil are breathing their last. Not to worry…He’s risen!”  ―   Charles R. Swindoll

St. Athanasius of Alexandria

“He, the Life of all, our Lord and Saviour, did not arrange the manner of his own death lest He should seem to be afraid of some other kind. No. He accepted and bore upon the cross a death inflicted by others, and those other His special enemies, a death which to them was supremely terrible and by no means to be faced; and He did this in order that, by destroying even this death, He might Himself be believed to be the Life, and the power of death be recognised as finally annulled. A marvellous and mighty paradox has thus occurred, for the death which they thought to inflict on Him as dishonour and disgrace has become the glorious monument to death’s defeat.”  ―   Saint Athanasius of Alexandria   On the Incarnation

Fulton J. Sheen

“Christianity, unlike any other religion in the world, begins with catastrophe and defeat. Sunshine religions and psychological inspirations collapse in calamity and wither in adversity. But the Life of the Founder of Christianity, having begun with the Cross, ends with the empty tomb and victory.”  ―   Fulton J. Sheen   Life of Christ
“No tabloid will ever print the startling news that the mummified body of Jesus of Nazareth has been discovered in old Jerusalem. Christians have no carefully embalmed body enclosed in a glass case to worship. Thank God, we have an empty tomb. The glorious fact that the empty tomb proclaims to us is that life for us does not stop when death comes. Death is not a wall, but a door.”
―    Peter Marshall  (Congressional Chaplain)

John Piper

“The Bible says He was raised not just after the blood-shedding, but by it. This means that what the death of Christ accomplished was so full and so prefect that the resurrection was the reward and vindication of Christ’s achievement in death.”  ―   John Piper   Passion of Jesus Christ
Note:  The quotations above were found at  http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/tag/resurrection?page=1

jesus welcomesJohn 11:25-26 Jesus  said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though  he die, yet shall he live, 26 and everyone who lives and believes in me shall  never die. Do you believe this?”

Romans 6:4 We were buried  therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was  raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of  life.

Romans 6:5 For if we have  been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him  in a resurrection like his.

Romans 6:9 We know that  Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has  dominion over him.

1 Corinthians 15:3-5 For I  delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died  for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that  he was raised on the third day pin accordance with the Scriptures,  and  that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve.

Read more: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/quotes-about-the-resurrection-23-good-sayings/#ixzz2PBXHkv6X

Our old history ends with the cross; our new history begins with the resurrection.     Author: Watchman Nee
The Word of truth teaches in the clearest and most positive terms that all of the
dead will be raised.  No doctrine of the faith rests upon a more literal and emphatic
body of Scripture authority than this, nor is any more vital to Christianity.
Author: C.I. Scofield
The first thing that stuck in the minds of the disciples was not the empty tomb, but
rather the empty grave clothes – undisturbed in form and position.
Author: Josh McDowellOn what does the Christian argument for Immortality really rest?  It stands upon
the pedestal on which the theologian rests the whole of historical Christianity — the
Resurrection of Jesus Christ.
Author: Henry Drummond
He is risen CrossI went to a psychologist friend and said if 500
people claimed to see Jesus after he died, it was
just a hallucination. He said hallucinations are an
individual event. If 500 people have the same
hallucination, that’s a bigger miracle than the
Author: Lee StrobelThe truth of the resurrection gives life to every
other area of gospel truth. The resurrection is the
pivot on which all of Christianity turns and without
which none of the other truths would much matter.
Without the resurrection, Christianity would be so
much wishful thinking, taking its place alongside
all other human philosophy and religious speculation.
Author: John MacArthurNote:  The quotations above were found at

Here (below) is an article about proof for the resurrection of Jesus Christ
from  http://christianity.about.com/od/easter/a/7-Proofs-Of-The-Resurrection.htm

Is the resurrection of Jesus Christ an historical event that really happened, or is it
only a myth, as many atheists claim? While no one witnessed the actual resurrection,
many people swore they saw the risen Christ after his death, and their lives were never
the same.

Archaeological discoveries continue to support the Bible’s historical accuracy. We tend
to forget that the Gospels and book of Acts are eyewitness accounts of the life and death
of Jesus.  Further nonbiblical evidence for Jesus’ existence comes from the writings of
Flavius Josephus, Cornelius Tacitus, Lucian of Samosata, and the Jewish Sanhedrin.
The following seven proofs of the resurrection show that Christ did, indeed, rise from the

The Resurrection Proof #1: The Empty Tomb of Jesus

The empty tomb may be the strongest proof Jesus Christ rose from the dead. Two major
theories have been advanced by unbelievers: someone stole Jesus’ body or the women
and disciples went to the wrong tomb. The Jews and Romans had no motive to steal the
body. Christ’s apostles were too cowardly and would have had to overcome the Roman
guards. The women who found the tomb empty had earlier watched Jesus being laid away;
they knew where the correct tomb was. Even if they had gone to the wrong tomb, the
Sanhedrin could have produced the body from the right tomb to stop the resurrection
stories. Jesus’ burial cloths were left neatly folded inside, hardly the act of hurrying grave
robbers. Angels said Jesus had risen from the dead.

The Resurrection Proof #2: The Women who were

The women who were eyewitnesses are further proof that the Gospels are accurate
historical records. If the accounts had been made up, no ancient author would have used
women for witnesses to Christ’s resurrection. Women were second class citizens in Bible
times; their testimony was not even allowed in court. Yet the Bible says the risen Christ
first appeared to Mary Magdalene and other women. Even the apostles did not believe
Mary when she told them the tomb was empty. Jesus, who always had special respect
for these women, honored them as the first eyewitnesses to his resurrection. The male
Gospel writers had no choice but to report this embarrassing act of God’s favor, because
that was how it happened.

The Resurrection Proof #3: Jesus’ Apostles’ New-Found

After the crucifixion, Jesus’ apostles hid behind locked doors, terrified they would be
executed next. But something changed them from cowards to bold preachers. Anyone
who understands human character knows people do not change that much without
some major influence. That influence was seeing their Master, bodily risen from the
dead. Christ appeared to them in the locked room, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee,
and on the Mount of Olives.  After seeing Jesus alive, Peter and the others left the
locked room and preached the risen Christ, unafraid of what would happen to them.
They quit hiding because they knew the truth. They finally understood that Jesus is
God incarnate
, who saves people from sin.

The Resurrection Proof #4: Changed Lives of James and

Changed lives are yet another proof of the resurrection. James, the brother of Jesus,
was openly skeptical that Jesus was the Messiah.  After the death and resurrection
of Jesus, James became a courageous leader of the church at Jerusalem, even being
stoned to death for his faith. Why? The Bible says the risen Christ appeared to him.
What a shock to see your own brother, alive again, after you knew he was dead.
James and the apostles became effective missionaries because people could tell these
men had touched and seen the risen Christ. With such zealous eyewitnesses, the early
church exploded in growth, spreading west from Jerusalem to Rome and beyond.
For 2,000 years, encounters with the resurrected Jesus have changed lives.

The Resurrection Proof #5: Large Crowd of Eyewitnesses

A large crowd of more than 500 eyewitnesses saw the risen Jesus Christ at the same
time. The Apostle Paul records this event in 1 Corinthians 15:6. He states that most
of these men and women were still alive when he wrote this letter, about 55 A.D.
Undoubtedly they told others about this miracle. Today, psychologists say it would
be impossible for a large crowd of people to have had the same hallucination at once.
Smaller groups also saw the risen Christ, such as the apostles, and Cleopas and his
companion. They all saw the same thing, and in the case of the apostles, they touched
Jesus and watched him eat food. The hallucination theory is further debunked because
after the ascension of Jesus into heaven, sightings of him stopped.

The Resurrection Proof #6: Conversion of Paul

The account of the conversion of Paul records the most drastically changed life in the
Bible.  As Saul of Tarsus, he was an aggressive persecutor of the early church. When
the risen Christ appeared to Paul on the Damascus Road, Paul became Christianity’s
most determined missionary. He endured 5 floggings, 3 beatings, 3 shipwrecks, a
stoning, poverty, and years of ridicule. Finally the Roman emperor Nero had Paul
beheaded because the apostle refused to deny his faith in Jesus.  What could make a
person willingly accept—even welcome—such hardships? Christians believe that the
conversion of Paul came about because he encountered Jesus Christ who had risen
from the dead.

The Resurrection Proof #7: They Died for Jesus

Countless people have died as martyrs for their faith in Jesus, absolutely certain that
the resurrection of Christ is an historical fact. Tradition says 10 of the original apostles
died as martyrs
for Christ, as did the Apostle Paul. Hundreds, perhaps thousands of
early Christians died in the Roman arena and in prisons for their faith. Down through
the centuries, thousands more have died for Jesus because they believed that the
resurrection is true. Even today, people suffer persecution because they have faith that
Christ rose from the dead. An isolated group may give up their lives for a cult leader,
but Christian martyrs have died in many lands, for nearly 2,000 years, believing Jesus
conquered death to give them eternal life.

(Information in this article was compiled and summarized from the following sources:
gotquestions.org, xenos.org, faithfacts.org, newadvent.org, tektonics.org,
biblicalstudies.info, garyhabermas.com, and ntwrightpage.com)


Here are links to two excellent articles
about proof of the resurrection of



Here are links to some wonderful articles
about the resurrection of Christ and what it means:






The information in this post was compiled from the sources noted by Cynthia A. Boyd


Looking for answers for yourself or for a friend?

Thank you for spending your valuable time reading the contents of this page.  We hope
that it has been helpful to you.   If you or someone that you know is looking for answers
about life, we hope that you will visit our page called “Do You Know Jesus?”.   The links
provided on this page will help to answer life’s deepest questions.   Here is the link to
“Do You Know Jesus?”:  http://www.worshipsounds.wordpress.com/do-you-know-jesus/

Please feel free to share this URL with anyone who is looking for answers about life and
eternity and salvation found in Jesus Christ.


Victorious Savior!

Have you ever been confronted by the reality of eternal truth in such a way that the experience is always remembered and can bring you to tears, even years later?  This post tells the story of such an occasion, when I was confronted with the reality of the resurrection (through “The Resurrection”) and the glory of my victorious risen Savior in an unexpected place.  I will never forget what it was like to gaze up into the depiction of the face of my Savior. with the central figure of the victorious, risen Christ over 7 feet tall and displayed impressively upon a long, raised platform, flanked with the figures of the two cowering Roman guards on the ground.  There was strength, life, vitality, and victory in the figure’s movement, love and benediction in His face, and a gesture of blessing through his raised hand.  Hallelujah, He is risen!

I Corinthians 15:54 is a victorious scripture for all Christians.  Because of the resurrection of Christ, His victory over death, and God’s power over all that is, this verse tells us that “Death is swallowed up in victory!”  (a reference to Isaiah 25:8  “He will swallow up death in victory, and the Lord God will wipe away tears from all faces…”)   The source of our victory is our victorious Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, and our all powerful God of love, who will demonstrate His compassion with the tender act of personally wiping away our tears.

Here are several translations of this amazing promise from God’s word: 

I Corinthians 15:54

New American Standard Bible (©1995)
But when this perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “DEATH IS SWALLOWED UP in victory.

King James Bible (Cambridge Ed.)

So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory.

International Standard Version (©2008)
Now, when what is decaying is clothed with what cannot decay, and what is dying is clothed with what cannot die, then the written word will be fulfilled: “Death has been swallowed up by victory!”

Aramaic Bible in Plain English (©2010)
Whenever this destructible puts on indestructibility and this mortal, immortality, then that word which is written shall come to pass, “Death is swallowed up by victory.”

GOD’S WORD® Translation (©1995)
When this body that decays is changed into a body that cannot decay, and this mortal body is changed into a body that will live forever, then the teaching of Scripture will come true: “Death is turned into victory!

Confronted by a powerful visual depiction, 
“La Resurrection”

When I visited the Louvre Museum in Paris a few years ago, one work of art struck me with the power of an image that has since been brought to my mind every time I think of our victorious Savior and His Resurrection.  On the ground floor, in the Richelieu Sculpture Gallery, one enters a large doorway to a section of the gallery and is immediately confronted with a sculpture of the Risen Christ striding victoriously from the tomb, with the awe-struck Roman guards on the ground on either side of the central figure.  Greater than life size at over 7 feet tall, the stature of the risen Christ is further magnified by the height of the pedestal on which all 3 figures are mounted.  I could have stood and looked up at this depiction of my Lord for hours, with tears and emotion overwhelming me.  For me, this image was so powerful and moving.  It is impossible to adequately describe the experience of seeing this work of art in person.  It was a visual representation of the very real power of God and His promise of eternal life in Christ.

French sculptor Germain Pilon (1537 – 1590 )West facade of the Basilica of Saint-Denis, in a northern suburb of Paris created this 3 piece work in marble at around 1572.  It had been commissioned by Catherine de Medicis, the widow of King Henry II of France.  It was to be housed in a circular funerary chapel built on one side of the Basilica of Saint-Denis (the burial place of the kings of France).  Construction of the Valois Rotunda began in about 1560, but the structure was never completed due to civil strife and lack of funds.   The Basilica still stands in a northern suburb of Paris (see photo), but the rotunda was destroyed in the early 18th century due to fears that the structure would collapse.

As a result of the incomplete structure, Pilon’s powerful sculpture, called “La Resurrection,”  never left the sculptor’s studio during his lifetime.  For part of it’s history, the sculpture’s three figures were then separated and displayed in different locations.  Now,  on display in the Louvre at the gallery entrance, in front of a wall which provides a backdrop and sections off this sculpture from all the others in that particular gallery, the three figures have been reunited in a setting that allows the emotional and spiritual power of the sculptor’s original vision to be seen and experienced once again.  Though I cannot help but marvel at the God-given talent that allowed the creation of “The Resurrection”, I can’t look upon this wonderful scene without thinking of our very real Savior and His love for mankind, His victory over death, and the salvation that is available to all in Him.  Below, you will see a photo of “The Resurrection.”  Though a picture can be powerful, there is no comparison to gazing up into the face of this depiction of the victorious Christ in person.  And, as powerful as that experience can be, it will pale and be nothing in comparison to meeting our Lord and Savior face to face.  Praise God!  Death is swallowed up in victory!

The Resurrection

Here is the description of the statue from the Louvre’s website

“Two Roman soldiers have fallen to the ground in awe at the sight of the resurrected Christ. With head bent at a slight angle and lowered gaze, this handsome, athletic-looking, muscular-legged Christ seems to be rising upwards into the skies. The group was commissioned by the queen Catherine de Médicis for the Valois Chapel that she was having built in the abbey of Saint-Denis, but it never left the sculptor’s studio during his life.

A weightless Christ

If Germain Pilon did not design the sculpture himself, his execution imbues the work with its moving beauty. The slender, lithe, wiry legs, which seem too frail to support the muscular torso, stride forward and barely touch the ground. They thrust the figure upwards, as if the body were weightless, a justifiable impression since this is the glorious body of Christ ascending into Heaven. The position of the body emphasizes this impression of weightlessness: bust pushed forward, head bent, lowered gaze, the risen Christ appears to be leaning forward to bless mankind who must remain on Earth. The gesture of benediction is highlighted by the size of the hand, out of proportion with the rest of the body. Christ’s idealized facial features are combined with a very humane expression and gentle gaze.”

To the reader, it may seem that too much focus is placed upon a work made by a man and not enough focus is placed upon the work of God in providing salvation through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  However, I think that it is fitting to recognize the works of men that do bring glory to God, which is our chief purpose for living.  The very image provided by this sculpture and the impact that seeing it has made in my life is a reminder to me of God’s power and his provision for us.  If I were a sculptor, I would want my hands to produce something that conveys the truth that death has been swallowed up in victory through the saving work of Christ on the cross and the power of our almighty God that raised him from the dead.  I don’t happen to possess this particular talent, but all of us can bring glory to God just by doing what we do “as to the Lord and not unto men”, seeking to bring Him glory.  If you are a singer, sing of His glory and grace, His victory and might, His love and compassion.  If you are a writer, write about it.  Whatever you do, do it to bring glory to the One who gave his all so that we might know him, have victory over sin and hell and death, and live forever in Heaven with the Lord.

None of the gospel accounts of the resurrection tell us exactly how Jesus left the tomb.  The account that follows, from Matthew’s gospel, tells us that he was already gone when the stone was rolled away.  Perhaps he did come striding right through the outer wall of that tomb, giving the guards the fright of their lives, as Pilon depicts in his sculpture.  Perhaps he left through the tomb’s ceiling, bursting through the rocky hillside above.  However he left that place of burial, I’m just glad he did!  I like to think of the risen Christ much as he is depicted in the statue, fully alive!…  strong and victorious! …confident in His purpose! … the compassionate and caring Lord of all creation, reaching out to all mankind in demonstration of the love, the amazing grace, and the power of God.

See Matthew’s thrilling resurrection account below:

Matthew, chapter 28
The Resurrection of Jesus

1After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. 2 There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4 The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

5 The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

8 So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9 Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

The Guards’ Report

11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.

The Great Commission
 16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Post written by C. Boyd, in celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, Easter Sunday, 2012

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