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  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...

Vantage Point: Resurrection Fact

By Ken Horn
Apr. 8, 2012

Easter 1882, and famed British preacher Charles Haddon Spurgeon is at the pulpit:

“When our Lord was dead, when the clay-cold corpse lay watched by the Roman soldiery, and with a seal upon the enclosing stone, was not the cause in mortal jeopardy? But how fared it? Did it die out? Every disciple that Jesus had made forsook Him, and fled. Was not Christianity then destroyed? Nay, that very day our Lord won a victory, which shook the gates of hell, and caused the universe to stand astonished. … His cause is not to be crushed; it is forever rising.”

Another 130 years have passed since those words, and they still ring true. The Early Church did not die out. It held together in oppressive circumstances simply because the resurrection of Jesus Christ was a reality. Nothing else could explain it. No one would suffer as the Early Church did for a cause they knew to be false.

The Resurrection was the first special observance the Church honored with a feast. Those closest to the event honored it as fact.

These early Christians focused on the Jewish celebration of Passover as the time to exalt Jesus as the perfect sacrifice, the Paschal Lamb, and the Redeemer.

Easter sunrise services were born early in Church history. Believers would hold a vigil beginning the Saturday night prior to the feast day. Then, as the sun rose, they would enthusiastically cry in unison, “Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!” This triumphal cry and response have persisted to this very day.

Moravians in Germany in the 1700s established the Easter sunrise service as we know it today, with the first celebration in the American Colonies taking place in 1741 in Bethlehem, Pa.

The Early Church targeted Easter as a day for water baptisms. After baptism, the candidates were given new white robes, which they wore the following week to emphasize their own newness in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17). It is said that this was the source of the Western tradition of wearing attractive new clothes on Easter.

With each new celebration of Resurrection Sunday, multitudes are added to the ever-increasing number of those who have found new spiritual life because of the fact that Christ rose from the dead.

Ken Horn

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