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Archive for the ‘Easter’ Category

Who do you say I am?

The words of question to Simon Peter, to the disciples … to us all, encapsulate the most important question ever asked.

Who we say Jesus is determines our relationship with him, our eternity.

If we call Jesus a great teacher (which is true) that simply means that we relate to him on an intellectual level.

If we call him a great healer (which is true) then we relate to him as one who can fix our physical bodies.

If we call him a great counsellor (which is tru) then our relation to him is just as one who we can tell our troubles and to whom we can hand over our anxieties.

If we call him Creator (which he is) then we relate to him as a cosmic genie or chess player, moving his creation to a fro in an effort to win with the most players standing.

But …

if we call his father, then he is one who gave us life.

if we call him Lord, then he has a plan and we are part of it.

and if we call him Saviour, Redeemer … then he is the only one who could open heaven’s gates to us both here on Earth and in heaven … and he did so at a cost that was ours to pay, not his.

Jesus, on his last night with the disciples said (John 14:6), 

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

But, he didn’t stop there, he continues (v.7),

“If you really know me, you will know my Father as well. From now on, you do know him and have seen him.”

Jesus is reminding his disciples (and everyone who has read these words, including you and I) that Jesus and God are one and that he has access to the power of heaven. Actually, Jesus goes on (v. 12) :

“Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these …”

What?!

We, who believe in Jesus as our Redeemer, can do even greater things than him?!? People, we cannot forget who Jesus is … what he has done for us … how that impacts our lives.

Just a few years after his life was threatened by a bullet intended to kill him, Pope John Paul 2 said,

“We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!”

It is the death and resurrection of Jesus that gives us life, through which we share in his power and victory.

People we may have very real struggles, we may have very real fears and sorrows … but we serve the one who has beaten death. It doesn’t matter if this Pandemic continues for years, or if is all a conspiracy … if we call Jesus our Saviour, “Allelujah is our song.”

“Who do you say that I am?”
Jesus

“We do not pretend that life is all beauty. We are aware of darkness and sin, of poverty and pain. But we know Jesus has conquered sin and passed through his own pain to the glory of the Resurrection. And we live in the light of his Paschal Mystery – the mystery of his Death and Resurrection. “We are an Easter People and Alleluia is our song!” We are not looking for a shallow joy but rather a joy that comes from faith …” Pope John Paul 2

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To serve is to submit, help or do for another … another group, another person or to God. Basically service is submission of me for another.

To be in service can mean that there is a payment for such acts, but the act of service is always, always an act of the will.

In recent days the word service has been used more than in months previous, added together. The death of Prince Philip, husband to Queen Elizabeth, has heralded the use of the word service in news articles and social media posts in the most honorable of ways.

Just yesterday, scrolling through Instagram I came across a post referring to the decades-long service of Philip to his wife and Queen. Following that was a meme about how we deserve better. I paused my scrolling … and sighed.

To serve is selfless, to speak of our deserving more is quite a different thing.

I think we humans, in this age, struggle to serve others, for we are constantly told that we deserve more, better. Serving takes on the connotation of being low, personal sacrifice without recognition, being in the shadows. No one wants to live in the shadows when the spotlight is so shiny.

This perspective can be exemplified when the culture around us has a pattern of looking down on those who serve others. The current pandemic has done some repair to this perspective, acknowledging those who serve others in hospitals, care homes, grocery stores, schools, on ambulances etc.

Our human choice to focus on what we deserve as opposed to how we can serve others means that we lose out on the joy of serving, of understanding how our strengths and gifts might be used in our service to others. To serve others is to live our life walking more closely with Christ, for he himself came to serve.

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served,
but to serve,
and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Mark 10:45

What we deserve … would not be IG meme popular today to our eyes and hearts. For there would not have needed to be a cross if what we deserved was socially marketable. What we deserve is why Jesus had to die … his body broken, his blood spilled, his father’s back to him … he did this because of what we deserve. Thus we have John 3:16 (the Carole Wheaton translation)

“For God so loved the world,
that he GAVE his SON,
that whoever SERVES HIM,
will not get what they deserve.”

Romans 3:24 does give us hope in regards to what we deserve,

“God treats us much better than we deserve,
and because of Christ Jesus,
he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins.”

His is the example of service to us, for through his sacrifice, we get far more than we deserve. May we focus our lives on what the example of Christ’s serving rather than on what the world says we deserve.

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From the bronze statue by Bruce Wolfe of Christ and Mary Magdalene at the Old Mission in Santa Barbara

The angel spoke to the women who came to the open and empty tomb,

“He is not here, for he is risen, just like he said.”

He is risen … and we who are his followers respond,

He is risen indeed

Those are the words of affirmation that Christ did what he said he would do (as recorded, before his death on the cross). He has conquered death.

These are the words that have even more beauty and weight and value. They spoke the prophetic anticipation waited and prayed for far longer than any vaccination. The words, he is risen, speak not just victory over a virus, but a victory over our human genetic condition of sin.

He paid a debt he did not owe, because we owed a debt we could not pay. Our only hope has ever been his sacrifice and we have hope because died and defeated death on our account.

Our Christian faith hinges on the resurrection … if it had not happened, then Jesus was not the son of God … but it did, there were multiple witnesses in multiple places … our faith is in the living, resurrected Christ (hallelujah!).

This Holy Week, I have been asking these questions:

  • how did the disciples not know what was going to happen as they ate with Jesus?
  • what if I were there?
  • what happened to open the eyes of those who met him on the road?

On the third day Jesus appeared to a number of people who did not, at first, seem to know who he was. These were not people unfamiliar with him, but family, friends, the disciples. Remember, it was only a week since his triumphal entry into the city, only four days since the supper in the upper room, only three days since his public crucifixion.

Depending on the Gospel, Jesus is seen by one or more women at the tomb, or to a few disciples fishing on the Sea of Galilee, or on a road, or in the upper room … what we do know from these accounts is that the risen Jesus was seen by numerous people … witnesses to this miraculous fulfilling of the prophesy.

But there are three occurrences when people who were close to him did not recognize the risen Jesus.

Luke records that two disciples walked and talked with Jesus on the road to Emmaus, and “but they were kept from recognizing him” Luke 24:16). John (20) tells of Jesus talking with Mary Magdalene and until he called her by her name she did not see who he was. Then in John (21) Jesus walked on the shore of the Sea of Galilee while a number of disciples fished, unsuccessfully. Jesus told them to throw the net to the other side of the boat, which resulted in an enormous catch … then Peter knew who is was and leapt from the boat into the water (not on the water this time).

So why? Why did these people, who knew Jesus so well, prior to his death, not know him now? And what caused their eyes to open?

Some theologians say it was that Christ had a different, glorified body. That they did not recognize him because he did not look like the human Jesus they knew.

But, that account in Luke, that they were kept from recognizing him … that sounds like his identity was intentionally kept from them, yet it is not part of the accounts of John.

As I read them, I found myself wondering if these accounts tell us something of how God reveals to each of us in ways that are specific to us and how he created us.

In the case of the the pair on the road to Emmaus, they told Jesus what had happened, about the death of the prophet. It is this title that, I think, says much about their understanding of Jesus. They thought he was a wise man, who could speak to things about the future. It was not until later, as they ate and Jesus broke bread and offered it to them “then their eyes were opened and they recognized him” (v. 31). In their cases, Christ himself chose when to allow them to see who he really was … for before they spoke, he knew that they’d only ever seen him as a prophet, that they would need to see him as he really is.

In the case of Mary Magdalene, she was absorbed in her grief. She was downcast. Her focus was really not on Jesus, but herself. But when he called her by name, then she turned her focus to him, abandoning her pity party.

The disciples in the boat were also in a funk. They were deep in grief and loss and they couldn’t even catch a fish. Their identity had been as fishermen and as followers of Jesus … and they were now unsuccessful in both. It was not until Jesus told them to move their nets and they were filled with fish, that they remembered that their abilities, their value was in who Jesus said they were … and they saw him for who he was.

We, I believe are like these individuals, when it comes to seeing Christ for who is really is.

Some of us have an appointed time to see him.

Some of us need to lift our eyes from ourselves to see him.

Some of us need to be reminded that our identity is in him, rather than what we do.

May, this Easter, we see Him, with eyes opened wide.

He is risen

“The pure in heart,
they shall see God” 
Luke 24:16

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This Holy Week from Palm Sunday to the following (Easter) Sunday I am contemplating how it is a week of preparation and prophesy fulfilled, a pendulum-shifting drama that swings from joy, to sorrow then to an even greater, impossible triumph.

As this Holy Week has progressed, I have found my heart and mind to be asking three questions:

  • how did the disciples not know what was going to happen as they ate with Jesus?
  • what if I were there?
  • what happened to open the eyes of those who met him on the road?

I need to admit that if I were there, in the time and place of the crucifixion,

I wouldn’t be there!

There is nothing within me that could imagine a reason for choosing to watch a trial (with the potential for a corporal punishment), view another human being carry what would be their cross up a roadway full of angry people spewing vile words and spit, or watch that same human nailed to the cross where he would live out his final hours in agony.

I just wouldn’t be there!

But … when I read the story, I do insert my heart into it.

One thing that I ask myself, consciously or not, when I watch a story enfold (true or fiction), is what character can I most connect or associate with? Once I can associate with someone in the story, then I am there, in the words and drama that enfolds.

The events of Holy Week are always digested in my mind and heart through the person of his mother, Mary.

Her appearance in the accounts of this week is at the foot of the cross.

Each of the four Gospels mention her presence by name, Luke is presumed to include her when he wrote, “and all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things” (Luke 23:40).

She was there … there at the foot of the cross, looking up at Jesus, her son … her child.

As a mom, reading the accounts of what happened to him, I feel emotionally gutted. To try to imagine a mom observing the torturous, stretched-out death of one who had grown inside of you, who you’d nourished at your breast, who you’d cared for, loved and protected … well, I really don’t want to imagine it. But, when I read the accounts of what happed I cannot help but associate with Mary, his mother. I cannot help but mourn for her … for what she would have to see, and hear, and know.

She saw that sign (Mark 15:26),

KING OF THE JEWS

She heard the insults, the mocking, the taunts to save himself (Mark 15:29-32).

She heard him cry out “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46).

She heard him cry out “I thirst” (John 19:28).

She heard his final words, “it is finished” (John 19:30) and her child was no more.

She heard and felt the earthquake (Matthew 27:54).

She probably heard the centurion guarding Jesus on the cross say, “surely he was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54).

“When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.”” (John 19:26-27). In his final hours, he ensured the care of his mother, after his death, for he knew that she would need a home.

Throughout all that she saw and heard that day, I wonder …

I wonder if she heard words from the past echo in her heart and soul. Words that were prophesy about her …

“And a sword will pierce your own soul too.”

These were the words spoken to Mary, by Simeon (Luke 2:35), when Mary and Joseph brought Jesus, as a baby, to the temple to offer him to the Lord.

Did she hear them, over and over, as she saw and heard all that was going on? As her son suffered? As her heart ached?

As a mom, I read this Holy Week story and experience it all through the heart of a mom … and my soul too, is pierced.

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The Feast in the House of Levi” by Paolo Veronese

These days from Palm Sunday (marking the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem) to the following Sunday (marking the rising of Christ) are known in the church calendar as Holy Week.

This week is one of preparation and prophesy fulfilled. It is a pendulum-shifting drama that swings from joy, to sorrow then to an even greater, impossible triumph.

As I have been contemplating this Holy Week, I have found my heart and mind to be asking questions.

These questions I am focusing on as I walk through the week, remembering the events and how they enfolded, bringing myself into this great drama.

These are my queries:

  • how did the disciples not know what was going to happen as they ate with Jesus?
  • what if I were there?
  • what happened to open the eyes of those who met him on the road?

As soon as Palm Sunday passed, my thoughts moved to the final meal, the last supper of Jesus with his ragtag group of disciples.

It boggles my mind that the disciples could have sat, eating with their leader and friend, listened to the words he said, observed actions (Judas) and words of Jesus and of others … yet they seemed clueless to what was happening, what was to happen.

… but I read the Gospel accounts with the benefit of hindsight

Like a person grieving the earthly loss of one held dear, reminiscing over and over again the actions and words spoken by their dearly departed, we can read the accounts of the Last Supper knowing what comes next. Therefore, we read the words with limited possible meaning.

The meal itself was not simply a final meal between friends, but the annual observance and celebration of the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This feast represents the end of the plagues brought to Egypt as a result of their refusal to , as Moses said, “let my people go.” The Jews were saved by painting their doorposts with the blood of lambs, so that when death came by, the blood would prevent it from entering the household … thus it passed over (Passover) their homes. This seder meal was part of a seven day feast, when the only bread eaten would not have been the puffy, yeast-risen bread, but the flat and crispy Matzah type.

Perhaps it is because of this cultural and religious event that the disciple’s minds were not on the future that Jesus was speaking of, but the past. Perhaps all they could see and hear in words of their leader were simply Even Jesus himself said, “I am going to celebrate the Passover with my disciples” (Matthew 26:18).

Though we see the parallel of celebrating the Passover feast (which celebrated the saving of the Israelites by the blood of the lamb) with the very Passover lamb (whose blood was spilled to save them, us all) … they just saw the observance of a festival.

This Feast of Unleavened Bread … they celebrate it with the very one who said, “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35), but they were just looking for physical (not spiritual) nourishment.

This unleavened bread, a reminder of fleeing Egypt, before their bread rose to wander in the dessert. No yeast was to come with them … symbolizing their need to leave their sins behind them. Jesus, sharing their table, was to become like yeast in their lives, growing and spreading his message of redemption.

These Jesus-followers were primitive mortals who knew only in-part as they sat down to feast with their fearless leader. In the days to come, their eyes would be opened to the drama being written as they simply enjoyed a good meal, drink and companionship around the table.

The banquet was just beginning.

*This video (below) presents a discussion of the Veronese painting (above) and compares it to that of Leonardo da Vinci … this comparison, in my mind contrasts how the disciples might have experienced the Last Supper with Jesus (Veronese) to how we see the Last Supper (Leonardo).

“in some ways it just looks like a banquet, and not a Last Supper”

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My first memories of Palm Sunday were as a young child, on a bright Sunday morning, in my grandmother’s church, deep in the rural woodlands on Canada’s East Coast. The children of the Sunday School were each given a palm branch. At a designated point in the Sunday service we were to walk from back to front and back again in the sanctuary, waving our branches and saying

“Hosanna!”
“Blessed is he who comes
in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the king of Israel!”

The congregation smiled encouragingly. Then the pastor instructed all to join in our joyful, hope-filled announcement.

Shortly after, the service ended and we all went home.

Palm branches and excitement over the arrival of a man, a king, on a donkey all but forgot.

This is what Palm Sunday is … excitement then apathy, it is the height of the people’s love for this king, yet it leads to the hardest week for Him, as he walked the road to sacrifice so as to provide the way for the greatest height for us.

This triumphal entry, parallels, yet so different from his pilgrimage on the Path of Sorrows (Via Dolorosa) to Calvary. This trek, leading from his place of torture and sentencing, to his place of death. No palm branches, no joyful, hope-filled exclamations from the crowds in the street.

Today, Palm Sunday, joyful and hope-filled as it was, as it is, is a window into the fickleness of our human race. In less than a week, those who followed him went from

“blessed is he who comes
in the name of the Lord!”

to

“crucify him”

We, who follow him today, are not that different.

Palm Sunday is the beginning of the end, of the beginning. We must check our cheers of hallelujah today … ensuring that our joy in Him lasts longer than this day. For darkness will come into each of our lives and we will need this King to save us.

A Sonnet for Palm Sunday
Malcolm Guite

Now to the gate of my Jerusalem,

The seething holy city of my heart,

The saviour comes. But will I welcome him?

Oh crowds of easy feelings make a start;

They raise their hands, get caught up in the singing,

And think the battle won. Too soon they’ll find

The challenge, the reversal he is bringing

Changes their tune. I know what lies behind

The surface flourish that so quickly fades;

Self-interest, and fearful guardedness,

The hardness of the heart, its barricades,

And at the core, the dreadful emptiness

Of a perverted temple. Jesus come

Break my resistance and make me your home.

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This week’s random thoughts was at the top of a friends post on Facebook.

As I read the list of ten … let’s call them the week’s learnings during this time of self isolation in the shadows of Covid19, I heard a song from childhood …

count your blessings

Now, at the end of that week, feeling rather depleted from a week that had a fair number of downs that seem to overshadow the the ups, I am revisiting my friend’s post.

As I look back over the week, this post and two other memories pop out for me.

There is a family that I follow on Instagram. Their beautiful daughter (and their whole family) have been fighting cancer for almost fifteen years (she is about twenty now) … through one diagnosis and three relapses. After over a month of self isolation, they are naming something each day that they are each thankful for.

A sweet teen, who carpooled with me to school (and whose heart and soul I adore), dropped off a belated birthday gift. Part of it was “The One-Minute Gratitude Journal” with spaces to write what I am grateful for each day.

Hum …
Coincidence?
I think NOT!

Saint Augustine (of the late 300s-early 400s) said,

“we are an Easter people
and
alleluia is our song.”

What he was saying is that as people (all people) who have been given the gift of Easter, the gift of the sacrifice of Christ, our song, or message (maybe even to ourselves) need always be praise to the Lord.

To offer thanks is to recognize from where our blessings come. To offer gratitude is to see what we have … even when we are in a place of many have-nots, of depletion, of lack.

And so, I wrote my list, of this week’s random thoughts … thanks. And, you know what, I have much to be thankful for … much for which to sing praises to my Lord … alleluia!

I encourage you to try this too … I’d love to hear from you … what are your random thoughts and thanks this week?

  1. Zoom visit with a dear friend
  2. Daily after work walks with our son
  3. A delivery of a belated birthday gift from the sweetest teenager I know
  4. Able to help my mom accomplish a level of technology
  5. A charcuterie board that looked and tasted wonderfully
  6. Discovering a great new TV series to enjoy with hubby
  7. Conferences with students who have the most amazing work ethics
  8. Sunny days
  9. A bunny hopping leisurely ahead of me while walking on a trail
  10. A church small group who is like oxygen

Count Your Blessings
When upon life’s billows you are tempest-tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord has done.

Who couldn’t use a little
Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney
singing Irving Belin’s
Count Your Blessings Instead of Sheep?

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Though the Easter weekend has past, somehow it could almost feel like it never happened.

I have to admit that I didn’t do too well with my lenten sacrifice. I had intended that each day I would read a number of chapters in John, starting with the death of Lazarus and going to Jesus’ arrest in the garden. Despite having the time, with self isolation and social distancing becoming a reality, contemplative reading was not something I have done much of these weeks.

The one lenten practise I did maintain was a frequent, silent praying of what is known as the Jesus Prayer,

Lord Jesus Christ,
Son of God,
have mercy on me,
a sinner.

I put an image of it on my phone’s home screen, so I saw it every time I went to turn my phone on (and man, have I turned it on often during these days of Covid 19 updates and breaking news).

I have been constantly reminded, in the lead up to Easter, who I am in relation to Jesus. What he has done for me.

Then Easter, during this season of Covid 19, came … and went. No crescendo of voices on Easter morning, no large family gatherings, no face to face Easter embraces and greetings of “He is risen” to respond, “He is risen indeed.”

Yet …

The words of song, the words of an ancient creed, have been mulling in my mind for weeks …

The first writing of the Apostle’s Creed was in 390AD …

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried.
He descended to the dead.
On the third day he rose again.
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of the saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

In this time of Covid 19, in the light shadows of the Easter weekend, we are called to the question,

what do I believe?

And the words of this Creed echo in my mind, in my heart. For this is what I believe is the essential belief of we, the Easter people. The people who follow, not blindly, but in faith of the one who died for our good … both here on Earth, but even more so, for the eternity that awaits us all.

So, my soul sings what I believe, reaching a solo crescendo … one reached by millions of followers throughout the ages.

We all have to answer the question of Pilate,

“What shall I do, then,
with Jesus who is called the Messiah?”

And I believe what I believe
is what makes me what I am
I did not make it
no, it is making me
it is the very truth of God
and not the invention of any man
I believe it

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I cannot imagine not being able to recognize someone who I love.

Yet, as we read the accounts of people who encountered the risen Jesus, it seems as though they were completely unaware as to who was standing before them.

Open the eyes of my heart, Lord
Open the eyes of my heart
I want to see You

Of course, each of these people, seemingly blinded to the obvious, were also in the depths of despair, sadness, confusion and grief … for the one they so loved had died in such an unfair and violent manner and with him, died their hopes of a Saviour for their people, for themselves, for redemption.

They were mourning and hopeless.

In a sense, their eyes were not yet opened to the fact that, because of the death and resurrection of Jesus :

“you do not grieve like the rest of mankind,
who have no hope”

(1 Thessalonians 4:13)

Because they had not yet seen the resurrected Christ … it was in the seeing … with their eyes and their hearts, that their hope was made real.

I love the story of the two walking along the road to Emmaus with Jesus. It says that the trip from Jerusalem to Emmaus is about seven miles. At some point along the way Jesus himself joins them in their walk. Jesus listens as they tell of the events of the past three days, with great sorrow and hopelessness. Jesus then challenges them, calling them foolish, saying,

“Did not the Messiah have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?” (Luke 24:26).

Then, when they reached the village of Emmaus, they invited Jesus to spend the evening with them.

At the evening meal (how Jesus loved when people gathered around the bread and wine), a miracle occurred :

“When he was at the table with them, he took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. Then their eyes were opened and they recognized him, and he disappeared from their sight.” (Luke 24:30-31).

These were not his disciples who had experienced the first communion with Jesus at the last supper. Yet, through the breaking of the bread (his body), their eyes were opened to the truth of who they were dining with … their Savior, the very bread of heaven.

Saint Thomas Aquinas in the 13th century wrote the words to the beautiful hymn, Panis Angelicus … the words, in Latin and English below:

Panis angelicus
Fit panis hominum
Dat panis coelicus
Figuris terminum
O res mirabilis
Manducat dominum
Pauper, pauper
Servus et humilis
May the Bread of Angels
Become bread for mankind;
The Bread of Heaven puts
All foreshadowings to an end;
Oh, thing miraculous!
The body of the Lord will nourish
the poor, the poor,
the servile, and the humble.

It is in the physical element of the bread, the symbol of the body of our Hope, our Redemption, that our eyes can be opened, so that we see with our hearts the truth of who he is … but we have to be willing to take that bread into us, our lives.

this is his body.

broken for you.

take.

eat.


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He is risen; He is risen indeed.

Thus begins this Easter, this Resurrection Sunday.

Believers in Christ greet one another this way, as a message of hope, joy and shared belief …

for it is the resurrection of Christ that unites us, as believers in him

It is a wild and out-there thing to believe that Jesus, the man, rose from the dead. Yet this is our hope of salvation … this empty tomb, this rising from the dead.

His horrific crucifixion death was the covering or substitute for us and the sin that we had no ability, no resources to pay for. He stepped in, as the sacrificial lamb, to pay our debt, to cover our sins, so that we can face our God.

It was, on that first Easter Sunday that we are introduced to the origins of this Easter greeting.

The women came to the tomb, to discover that it was empty. They were, no doubt, filled with horror and grief that the body of their Jesus had been stolen. Then angelic messengers greeted them, saying :

“Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise” (Luke 24:5-7).

Then, later, while a couple were having a meal with a stranger, their eyes are opened to the identity of the stranger, when Jesus breaks bread for them, then he disappears. They immediately go back to Jerusalem and tell the disciples, “The Lord has risen indeed” (v. 34).

God, in his ultimate wisdom, knew that we humans would need more than one confirmation of his rising from the dead!

So, as a community of believers in this sacrifice we excitedly awaken this morning and greet one another with the most unifying greeting possible,

He is risen,
He is risen indeed.

“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”
Matthew 28:6

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Karla Sullivan

Progressive old soul wordsmith

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Parenting with Purpose

Frijdom

encouraging space to think deeply