We read the stories of Jesus—his joy, his resolute peace through uncertainty, his unanxious presence, his relaxed manner and how in the moment he was—and think, I want that life. We hear his open invite to “life…to the full” and think, Sign me up. We hear about his easy yoke and soul-deep rest and think, Gosh, yes, heck yes. I need that. But then we’re not willing to adopt his lifestyle. But in Jesus’ case it is worth the cost. In fact, you get back far more than you give up. There’s a cross, yes, a death, but it’s followed by an empty tomb, a new portal to life. Because in the way of Jesus, death is always followed by resurrection.
No tabloid will ever print the startling news that the mummified body of Jesus of Nazareth has been discovered in old Jerusalem. Christians have no carefully embalmed body enclosed in a glass case to worship. Thank God, we have an empty tomb. The glorious fact that the empty tomb proclaims to us is that life for us does not stop when death comes. Death is not a wall, but a door.
Take with you the joy of Easter to the home, and make that home bright with more unselfish love, more hearty service; take it into your work, and do all in the name of the Lord Jesus; take it to your heart, and let that heart rise anew on Easter wings to a higher, a gladder, a fuller life; take it to the dear graveside and say there the two words “Jesus lives!” and find in them the secret of calm expectation, the hope of eternal reunion.
Jesus was the suffering servant, headed for the cross. He died ONCE (one-time) for our sins to fulfill the law. Jesus is now and forever the triumphantly resurrected, ascended and glorified King. We must follow the resurrected King while never forgetting his sacrifice. However, it is difficult to follow a King if we think he is always leading us on His road of suffering. We need to catch up with where He is leading us.
Jesus’s resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord’s Prayer is about.
1 Cor 15:55 -“Death, where is your victory? Death, where is your sting?”
This Holy Week as I reflect on all that Jesus did for me, I am forever grateful, but I won’t camp under the empty cross.
This week’s blog by Katherine can be found here: Be Grateful but Don’t Camp Under the Empty Cross
April 16, 2020
Christ-centred worship – which is event-oriented worship – can never be static and merely intellectual because what happens is an actual and real communication of the power and benefit of the life, death, and resurrection of Christ. Worshipping churches recognize that every gathering of worship is ultimately praise and thanksgiving for the overthrow of evil by God in Christ. This victory not only happened two thousand years ago, but it happens today in the lives of people who bring to worship their own struggles against that evil which shatters relationships, oppresses the poor, and brings constant dislocation into life.
Easter April 12, 2020
But I know Jesus arose. I feel his presence now, here, with me. I see the evidence of his Word every day. From creation forth, the whole world is witness to God’s plan revealed through his Son. From the beginning, he prepared us. In the passing of the seasons; in the way flowers spring forth, die, and drop seeds for life to begin again; in the sunset and sunrise. Jesus’ sacrifice is reenacted every day of our lives if we but have the eyes to see.