Christ is risen!

Luke 23:50-24:53 – Christ is risen! Easter Sunday sermon by Rev. Colin Pretorius.

At Easter last year, Maggie and I were in Yekaterinburg, on our way into the heartland of Siberia. One thing that was very noticeable to us as we travelled across Russia was that there was a re­vival of faith. Across the country Orthodox churches were being rebuilt, and some of the huge churches in cities like Yekaterinburg we restored to their full glory – and in all the churches we went we met people who were praying, preparing for the Easter weekend when they would celebrate the crucifixion as well as the resurrection of their – and our – risen Lord.

This year we’re privileged to be with you again at this time – although we might as well have been in another country as we’re not able to be physically together. But brothers and sisters, we are most certainly not alone! We’re not alone for as the beautiful hymn “We are heirs of the Father” tells us, in our risen Lord we are children of the kingdom, we are family and we are one.[1]

Psalm 118 says[2]

 This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Now that of course goes for every day of our lives – every day is a gift from God and we can re­joice in each day. But today is a bit of a special day, isn’t it? Yes, it is a Sunday, and that’s special in itself. But this is also Easter Sunday –it’s Resurrection Sunday, the day when we remember and celebrate the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Crucified and Risen Saviour. It is a blessed day, just as it was for the disciples of Jesus all those years ago. But to fully appreciate the joy and the delight they must have experienced on that first Easter Sunday morning, we also need to think about how deep a darkness of soul they would have experienced on crucifixion Friday and how that darkness would have caused an all-pervading despair of the Sabbath Saturday. Our text tells us about how their darkness and despair would be lifted and changed to delight.

Let us look then this morning at our text under the headings of:

  • The darkness of Friday (23:50-56a)
  • The despair of Saturday(23:56b)
  • The delight of Sunday (24:1-53)


[1] Jimmy & Carol Owens. We are heirs of the Father. Lexicon Music, 1974.

[2] Ps 118:24.