34 Then Peter began to speak: “I now realize how true it is that God does not show favoritism 35 but accepts men from every nation who fear him and do what is right. 36 You know the message God sent to the people of Israel, telling the good news of peace through Jesus Christ, who is Lord of all. 37 You know what has happened throughout Judea, beginning in Galilee after the baptism that John preached– 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him. 39 “We are witnesses of everything he did in the country of the Jews and in Jerusalem. They killed him by hanging him on a tree, 40 but God raised him from the dead on the third day and caused him to be seen. 41 He was not seen by all the people, but by witnesses whom God had already chosen–by us who ate and drank with him after he rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name.”
Psalm 118:1-2, 16-17, 22-23
1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever. 2 Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.”
16 The LORD’s right hand is lifted high; the LORD’s right hand has done mighty things!” 17 I will not die but live, and will proclaim what the LORD has done.
22 The stone the builders rejected has become the capstone; 23 the LORD has done this, and it is marvelous in our eyes
Colossians 3:1-4 – Rules for Holy Living
1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. 2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. 3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.
John 20:1-9 – The Empty Tomb
1 Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!” 3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter, who was behind him, arrived and went into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the burial cloth that had been around Jesus’ head. The cloth was folded up by itself, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed. 9 (They still did not understand from Scripture that Jesus had to rise from the dead.)
God our Father,
by raising Christ your Son
you conquered the power of death
and opened for us the way to eternal life.
Today is the day of Easter joy –
the morning on which the Lord
appeared to those who had begun to lose hope.
He opened their eyes
to what the scriptures foretold:
that first He must die, and then He would rise
and ascend into His Father’s glorious presence.
May the Holy Spirit fill our hearts,
enlighten our minds and open our eyes,
so that we may know Christ more deeply,
and follow Him more closely.
Help us to be grateful today that
your gift of everlasting life is ours.
Christ is the Lord of life, raised up by the Father;
in His turn He will raise us up by His power.
Let us pray to Him, saying:
Christ, thank you for saving us.
Lord Jesus, you are a light that shines in the darkness.
You lead us into everlasting life
and give us the gift of holiness,
– today may we offer you our joyful sacrifice of praise.
Father, creator of life,Amen.
you have given us hope in place of darkness.
Today I celebrate your love and the new life you have given me.
I ask that I feel your presence in a brand new way this Easter.
Open my heart to all that you have for me.
Thank you for this morning of hope,
and thank you for your incredible love for me.