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The Resurrection

April 5, 2010

I think it’s good to be reminded of Christ’s resurrection from the dead each year. Without it Christmas would be just another chapter in this great tragedy. Today in church Shirley was wondering what was so important about easter. I went and joined her in the dark room inside my mind, and sitting in the center of a spotlight I told her this story.

Imagine, there’s been no prophets and no word from heaven for many generations, waiting for the one who would bring their enemies to justice and be their great king just as it was written. But some lost heart and gave up; after all it had been a very long time. Meanwhile, it seems as if something is stirring. The voice crying in the wilderness has come to call people to repentance and baptize them. A few miles away Jesus is feeding the poor, healing the sick, and he’s not afraid to speak out. Some look to one another and whisper: “Imagine… imagine if he would lead the resistance. He could feed his army off of five loves and to fish, heal them as they were struck down, even raise them from the dead. We can rise up against the oppression and finally set up the kingdom we’ve been waiting for. This man… he could be the one. All we need is a sign… a signal to start the rebellion.”

Jesus told them that they will not get a sign. Only the sign of Jonah. What does he mean, they wondered? Jesus told them on many occasions that he would suffer and die.

John, who was out baptizing people, looked up and saw Jesus coming and said “Behold! The Lamb of God which takes away the sins of the World”

Perhaps his disciples though to themselves One lamb… for the sins of the whole world? It can’t be. He can’t mean…. no… he doesn’t mean that. After all It’d ruin all our plans…

And when it was actually time for Jesus to go to the cross, everyone was disbelieving. The ones who had thought He’d be the one to save them became angry and bitter. So it wasn’t this time after all, perhaps they thought. They didn’t recognize that His plans were different than our own. Imagine all the crushed dreams of those who thought they believed in Him. It must have been the greatest tragedy. Everything they had hoped for… why didn’t He just call down fire from heaven? Perhaps they didn’t remember the prophecy from Isaiah 53:7 which says Messiah will be led like a lamb to the slaughter. They should have seen this coming. They should have thought back to the sign of Jonah. Didn’t Jonah get spewed up and returned to the land of the living after a few days?

If the story ended here, if Jonah’s story ended with him being swallowed by a large fish, it would be simply another sorrowful tale in our collection of painful stories. But God had the sea-creature spit Jonah back up, who then went to Ninivah and the whole city was saved. God turned his wrath away from the city and did not destroy them. So Jesus was raised back to life so that the whole world might be saved. He came back in glory, triumphant, having defeated death itself. He had angels waiting at his tomb to talk to the women who loved him, who were confused and grieving. An angel, from his perch upon the heavy tombstone, called down, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is Risen! Do not be afraid.” How must they have felt at this point?

So all the gospels included different details. One mentions only one angel, while another mentions two. The words the angel is quoted as saying are different, but the meaning is the same. I believe God watches carefully what the people wrote in the bible, to make sure it was all true, but their individual writing styles still showed, and some chose to include different details. Anyway, so you asked me why Easter was important, and it is because without the resurrection we’re just a bunch of sadly mislead people. But I believe the creator has enough power to do anything. I believe God resurrected my dead spirit and has brought me back to life through recovery. It it more difficult to resurrect a body than it is to revive a dead and tangled spirit?

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