If, for some reason, authorities had to put out a description of me, it would say that Joe Paprocki is a white male with blue eyes, stands six feet tall, and weighs about 200 pounds. Except for some slight variations (I’d love if the weight were 190!), that information will remain the same as long as I’m alive. These are, more or less, permanent traits that identify me.
The Easter season reminds us that one of Jesus’ permanent traits is, “He is Risen!” Jesus doesn’t die again every Good Friday and rise again every Easter. Since that first Easter, He is Risen! Even on Good Friday, Jesus is Risen! The 50 days of Easter are a reminder of Jesus’ most central characteristic: the fact that He is Risen!
I can’t help but think of TV commercials in which the announcer lists a number of great features about the product and then proclaims, “But wait! There’s more!” The announcer then goes on to take things up another notch. Easter is our “But wait! There’s more!” season.
When it comes to Jesus, we can talk about all of the great things he said and did during his life and ministry, including his miracles and his dying on the Cross—the ultimate act of love. But the story does not end there. During the Easter season, the Church proclaims, “But wait! There’s more!” Jesus’ story does not end with death. He is Risen!
The words, “He is Risen!” should not be limited to the 50 days of Easter but should be at the very center of our year-round proclamation of Jesus Christ. The fact that “He is Risen” is the most critical and distinguishing characteristic of Jesus Christ and of our proclamation of him. If I got lost and needed to be found, an accurate description of me would be most beneficial to those searching for me. For those who are seeking Christ, it is imperative that we always and everywhere share with them this most defining characteristic of him: He is Risen!
“Christ is risen,” today we cry; Now he lives no more to die!
—“Christ the Lord Is Risen Today,” Unknown author, 11th or 12th century