Today: Tuesday, December 10, 2019
 
 

Easter 7: Resurrection    (3/31/2013 )



In my own mind, Easter is synonymous with spring; when spring finally arrives, we are surrounded by signs of new life — whether these are the beautiful spring bulbs, hedge and tree buds bursting open, or a drive into the countryside (near where I live) to see new-born lambs. It is a time when, it would appear, life is breaking forth in every direction!

On that first Easter Day it must have felt very different: the dreams and hopes of those who had accompanied Jesus crushed, after seeing him suffer a truly cruel death, then seeing his dead and lifeless body laid in a grave that was then sealed shut.

A passage from Luke 24 (verses 13 to 35) gives an insight as to how two of the followers of Jesus were feeling that first Easter Day. A stranger meets these two downcast individuals and engages them in conversation, challenging them about their understanding of the Bible.

This man explains God’s promise as contained in the Old Testament in such a way that they are fascinated, and when they arrive at their destination they invite him to stay with them. It is only as they sit to eat together that they recognise that this man — who they thought a stranger — is Jesus!

At this point he disappears immediately; the two have gone from being disillusioned and sad to engaged and interested and then to being so excited about what they’d just experienced that they went straight back to Jerusalem to find the other followers of Jesus and tell them what they’d seen.

These two were not the only people to see the resurrected Jesus. St Paul wrote that he appeared to more than 500 people (1 Corinthians 15:6). The death and resurrection of Jesus was not what people were expecting at all; even today, many people find it difficult to comprehend that Jesus came back to life. But the whole of Jesus’ life is extraordinary, and we should never doubt the effect these happenings had on the followers of Jesus back then as well as on people today.

One of things that Jesus left for his followers was the Lord’s Prayer (Matthew chapter 6, verses 9-13), in which he prays; “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, On earth as it is in heaven.” Imagine life in heaven! Without anger, suffering, pain, injustice or poverty.

God calls us to bring his kingdom to earth, not to ‘bear’ living in this world until we are finally free to escape to paradise. Otherwise, what are we here for?

The best example of this is Jesus!

God’s plan is for his people to bring his kingdom to earth. The words of the Lord’s Prayer are very familiar to me, because I have said it countless times; however, I say it with more and more fervour. God’s Kingdom on earth!

Yes, I pray it is possible — not just in the glimpses I currently experience, but all the time. 





Pray: Lord, help me to understand that Easter Day is the most important anniversary on the calendar, and to understand its importance. Enable me to reach out to you on this day, this year. Amen.

Think about: Why do you think Jesus appeared to people he knew after he was resurrected? After all, if his death was a saving death for us all, that work was already done...

Challenge: The idea of someone coming back to life after three days is so unlikely that it seems preposterous. Who would be crazy enough to believe that? Yet if Jesus really is God, anything is possible. Are you willing to accept as true something which is preposterous on earth yet which is at the heart of eternal life with God?

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