Not far from where I was raised in Connecticut is where American hero Nathan Hale grew up. He was captured as a spy in New York City during the Revolutionary War. Before he was hanged he spoke these famous last words, “I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country.” Not far from where I now live another American hero Patrick Henry spoke these famous words in St. John’s Church, “Give me liberty or give me death.”

Whether literally the last words spoken before death or famous words spoken at a crucial time these words have great impact. Hundreds of years later almost everyone knows those words. Almost two thousand years ago some very famous last words were spoken in Luke 24:5-6, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he is risen!” Two angels spoke these words about Jesus to his disciples.

Jesus’ last words before he died were, “It is finished.” But the last words spoken about Jesus were, “He is risen!” The connection between the two is inseparable. Jesus dying on the cross completed his mission on earth. By dying on the cross for all the sins of humanity forgiveness is now available for anyone who asks for it.

Jesus offered his perfect sinless life for our imperfect sinful lives so the barrier of sin that kept us from knowing God could be removed. When you accept Christ into your life your sinful imperfection is replaced with Christ’s perfection. God sees Jesus in you and accepts you as his friend.

The death of Christ without his resurrection would have been pointless and incomplete. Only by rising up from the grave did he prove his victory over death and sin. The resurrection of Jesus Christ is the foundation of the Christian faith. “He is risen” are the most famous words in history. Celebrating Christ rose from the dead is what Easter is all about.

The veracity of Jesus’ resurrection is crucial. If Jesus did not rise from the dead then as the apostle Paul says, “Our preaching is in vain.” The most famous words in history mean nothing they are just a metaphorical phrase not historical fact.

The reality is that Jesus was raised up from the dead and because of Jesus’ victory over death and sin we can experience forgiveness and eternal life. The words “He is risen” changed the world forever and can change your life too.

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