We fancy it up and proclaim it.
We doctor it with a whole lot of power language.
And “he has Risen!”
And “The tomb is empty!”
And “Our Lord reigns!”
Which, I believe, are all true by the way.
Indeed, the impossible emerging from the catastrophic is definitely a celebratory event and worthy of proclamation.
From this perch.
From over 2000 years and (for most of us) many miles away…
The events of that Sunday can be proclaimed as something almost otherworldly.
It was this worldly.
The Sunday following Jesus’ death, in real time, was stumble-y and scared and weird and wonderful.
It was confused.
Sort of, just like today.
There was trauma, and blood, and shattered hearts, and silent waiting, and fear and spices and tombs and rocks and scandal.
There were gardens and crosses and humiliation and shouting.
There were tears and unbelief and shock and joy.
But it is one of the last lines of the story that I am praying through this weekend.
Found in Mark 16:9,12,14; Luke 24:34; John 21:1,14 and Acts 1:3:
“And Jesus appeared to them.”
The resurrection continues to matter because there were people who saw Him and said it.
We believe it happened then.
We hope it is going to happen again.
I would urge us to consider how it is happening now.
Nearly a year ago, Jeff and I had the privilege to visit Jerusalem and on the day we walked the memorial journey of Jesus’ Garden to Golgotha to the tomb, I repetitively thought--In our present day many of us are definitely going to struggle to follow this particular guy. The one who was a spectacle and a challenge to the religious norm. The one who pushed back against the most holy, well-rehearsed way. The one who was condemned and appeared to have lost.
The last days of Jesus’ story didn’t easily read as a win back then. Not completely.
Instead, it seems, how the resurrection mattered and continued to matter was every place where His story read as presence.
In fact, this is what Jesus promised. Just before he left…
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.”
In the weeks following our Easter 2020—may your eyes see where He is already among you.
And may that awareness fill you up with Peace.
Pray with me:
In our fear filled rooms,
in the gardens where we weep,
on the road as we consider all that has just transpired,
where we go to find some food.
And help our eyes to see. Our ears to hear your voice. Our scared and weary hearts to reach out to you, to connect with your wounds and to believe.
Because of Jesus and in His name,
Let it be so.
“After his suffering, he presented himself to them
and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.
He appeared to them…”
May you be blessed with his presence clearly in your midst today.