These words from the Apostles' Creed express the Christian conviction that death is incapable of destroying the life of Jesus and what he came on earth to accomplish. "He is risen indeed!" is a conviction believers around the world affirm with joy and celebration.
But believing in the literal resurrection of Jesus' body is only half of the gospel. The Easter event is in vain if it doesn't result in our becoming a vital part of a resurrected, reborn, transformed, and unified body of "Christ-ones" who have been given a new birth and who demonstrate an authentically Christ-like life.
To the extent that we are transformed into this kind of new worldwide community, whose members truly love one another and care about the wellbeing of everyone on earth, we become a living sign that Christ is "risen indeed".
According to an Ephesian text (2:4-6), we are "resurrected with Christ... raised up with Christ... and seated with him" in a position of awesome authority and responsibility.
And that responsibility is to live out the message and ministry Jesus began when he was here on earth. In the living, breathing "body of Christ" the incarnation of God continues, God's mission of bringing hope and healing to a broken world goes on.
In the words of the apostle Paul, "those whom God foreknew he also fashioned in the likeness of his Son, so that he would be the firstborn of many brothers and sisters" (Romans 8:29).
Is that a great calling or what?
The best sermons are those that evoke further reflection on the part of those who hear them. The above represents some of my pondering after hearing a message by pastor Scott Austin on "Winsome Oneness" in a service we attended in Rochester, NY, with our daughter and family this past Sunday.