This is the word of exhortation for an Easter morning, and so what shall that exhortation be? I do not exhort you to believe in the resurrection, for you already do. I do not exhortation to be raised with Christ in your baptism, for you already are. What shall the exhortation be then?
The apostle Paul says that we are to live in the light in such a way as to reprove the filthiness that the world gives itself to in the dark. Note how he puts it: “But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light. Wherefore he saith, Awake thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light” (Eph. 5:13-14).
We have been raised because Christ was raised. But we are not to spend our time congratulating ourselves over our resurrection state. Having been raised, we are charged to turn to the world and say to them, as those captured in a deep sleep—awake. You that sleep, awake. Your sleep is death, and so we come to you with a gospel call. Christ is risen, we are risen, and now you must rise. And when you rise, the Lord Jesus, the risen Christ, will shine upon you and give you light.
The resurrection declares that Jesus is the Son of God. The resurrection declares that God will judge all the nations through Him. And the resurrection declares that He is the Sun of righteousness, warming a once frozen world. Rise O sleeper, rise from your death. Rise from the comforts of all your sins, and Christ will shine upon you.