“Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead!” Luke 24:5-6
My favorite hymn is He Lives! I have wonderful memories of joyously singing this hymn on Easter Sunday mornings with my children. Rather than look for Easter eggs, we would wake up and run around the backyard shouting “He lives! He lives!” and singing this hymn.
That is one of the great things about this hymn; it is a joyous proclamation of a life-changing truth. Jesus lives, and because he lives, everything is changed. Death has no power over us for in the resurrection, Jesus defeated death for us all and offers us eternal life. Sometimes we can go through our days feeling burdened and overwhelmed much like the women who arrived at the tomb with their heads cast down on Easter morning. On days like that, I can hear Jesus asking me, “Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive?” The Jesus who rose from the tomb defeating death is still alive and will defeat any other burden or challenge I may face if I only put my trust in Him. “He lives!” and that makes all the difference in my attitude, in my day, and in my life.
The other thing that I love about this hymn is how personal it is. “He walks with me and talks with me along life’s narrow way… You ask me how I know He lives. He lives within my heart!” I know Jesus lives not because of what I was taught in Sunday school, or heard in sermons, or learned in seminary. I know Jesus lives because I feel His presence with me every moment. I see Him at work in the world and in my life through the Holy Spirit. My relationship with Christ is a personal one, and like all meaningful relationships, it is one that I must treasure and tend carefully every day. He lives! That changes everything for me, so I will joyously sing that Good News for the world so that others might know for themselves the gift of abundant life that is Jesus Christ. — Chaplain Laura