“The Real, Essential, and Personal Resurrection”
On Palm Sunday you received a card with an image of Jesus bearing his cross,, serving you, serving our world. I invited you to “write your wrongs” on the back of that card as a way of abiding with Jesus this Holy Week, setting within his Passion the griefs, sorrows, and sins you experience. The Scriptures declare that Jesus carries each of these to the cross, where they are crucified with him. As he dies, so ends the power they hold over you. But the story doesn’t end at the cross. The Third Day is on its way.
This Easter Sunday, we have our annual confrontation with the Resurrection of Jesus through the beloved disciple John’s telling of the story. John’s version brings to the forefront three aspects of the resurrection.
The Resurrection is Real: John includes details that read like facts, not legend or myth. The testimony of a woman, a race in the dark, doubting disciples, a folded face cloth, mistaken identity, and the audible voice and physical touch of the unmistakably risen Jesus.
The Resurrection is Essential: “…they did not understand the Scripture, that [Jesus] must rise from the dead,” writes John. A dead Jesus would mean a dead messiah, and dead messiahs don’t save anyone. All the Kingdom promises would be buried with him. Jesus must be resurrected for us to receive the forgiveness, freedom, and life he offers.
The Resurrection is Personal: Mary Magdalene has all the evidence of the resurrection before her – an empty tomb, angels, even Jesus himself standing right there. She still does not believe until Jesus speaks her name, “Mary.” The Resurrected Jesus comes to each disciple, renewing his relationship with each one personally.
We’ll engage these three joyful truths this Sunday at the 7am Easter Service (remember to bring your own chairs since we’ll be outside on the lawn) and the 10am Easter Service. I look forward to celebrating with you.
Until then, continue abiding with Jesus the remainder of this Holy Week, and join us for our offerings on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and Holy Saturday (see below).
Your Pastor in Christ,