Resurrection

I don’t know what challenges your faith most.

Maybe it’s the problem of suffering. There is plenty of it in the world and each time violence creeps onto your radar screen, you wonder anew whether God cares. Or maybe it isn’t so much evil out there as failure within. In work, family or community life, you are frustrated with your failure to love. Or you wonder why the Church is fragmented, internally focused, lukewarm, tone deaf. You can’t ignore that unsettling fear that maybe resurrection hasn’t worked if we are still broken.

If you are weary, come to the resurrection.

Reading: Luke 24

The women who followed Jesus faithfully during his ministry now rise early for a task that both compelled them and filled them with dread. As they pack spices to anoint his corpse, they wonder how the one who filled them with hope as he raised Lazarus could have become the object of a scornful death.

But when they arrive at the tomb, they find what they least expect—life beyond imagination. The angels ask, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” Jesus is alive.

Appearing to dumbfounded and frightened disciples, Jesus asks, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”  Jesus has to explain it all. Even in the darkest hour of last Friday night, God wasn’t lost. No—it was intended that he would suffer, die, and rise to win repentance for the forgiveness of sins for all people.

Resurrection’s reality indeed changes everything. Romans 8:11 assures you that if the same Spirit of God who raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, than regardless of your failure, you will also rise to new life. The good news is this: God did not turn away from the worst human suffering. Instead, God acted powerfully to resurrect the dead. No doubt God can also change your heart, our community, the Church.

Though doubt may beckon, remember that the same spirit that raised Jesus from the dead also launched the Church and will one day restore everything broken. May God give you renewed strength for service as you remember to “give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the [resurrected] Lord is not in vain.” (1 Cor 15:58)

Is resurrection touching every part of your life? Who else needs to hear about new life?

 

By Sarah Bartley

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