John 6:15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. “
What are your perceptions about Jesus this Easter Morning? I’m guessing they’re like mine. It is good to celebrate this glorious day because our hearts have responded to the Savior whose purpose was to give His life for ours. We celebrate because Jesus’s death on a cross has been honored by God, who has come to us now as a Resurrected Savior. We celebrate because that Savior, whose power now extends beyond the grave, has chosen to give us MORE; his life within us.
MORE is the one word I wrote that makes John 6:15 both difficult and meaningful to consider. It’s an odd thing to find myself this special Easter morning asking “why?” Why did Jesus withdraw from the crowd that wanted to force Him to be their king? I think my answer lies in that “MORE…”
MORE was indeed what the people wanted. They knew that much! But Jesus had come for something MORE than the useful byproduct of miracles. MORE miracles could not transform a life. Transformation was something MORE than a heart recognizing Jesus did have miraculous power. Jesus would not settle for being their king. There was something MORE to that purposeful separation.
This Resurrection Day
I have remembered giving MORE is still God’s useful purpose.
Jesus’s purposeful separation between the cross and the grave
has become the MORE of my own salvation.
MORE is not just the useful byproduct of
the miraculous sign of resurrection.
MORE this Resurrection Day IS Jesus!
Jesus is The Road Out from the slavery of my separation from God
and The Road In to new life in a different Kingdom
MORE than that…Today I remember
The Resurrected Jesus is THE MIRACLE!
13 Now that same day two of them were going to a village called Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem. 14 They were talking with each other about everything that had happened. 15 As they talked and discussed these things with each other, Jesus himself came up and walked along with them; 16 but they were kept from recognizing him. 17 He asked them, “What are you discussing together as you walk along?”
Preparation has been completed
Jesus is Risen!
The resurrection of Jesus Christ is earthshakingly dramatic. It’s the most critical part of our life of faith. That’s BIG! Our hearts are filled all those BIG things today; Praise, Gratitude and Alleluia’s. This is the Day the Lord has made! This is the day that ends weeks of participating in self-directed “remembering” to focus on celebrating Easter 2021. Jesus described Himself as the way, the truth and the life. That was a bold declaration for a man who knew death was ahead of Him. The resurrection was God’s bold declaration that Jesus’s description was truth.
There is another quiet part of the resurrection of Jesus that we need to remember and celebrate too: Jesus’s post-resurrection encounters with His friends. They were revelations of Himself speaking peace to calm their fears, reassurance to dispel their doubts, guidance to direct their futures and giving them His trust that would empower them to live IN their faith. It’s the quiet part of the resurrection that continues beyond this Easter celebration. The Way of crucifixion is Jesus quietly providing access to a new beginning as they ”walk along.” The Truth of “discussing” healed scars is testimony of resurrecting love that can quiet hurting hearts. The Life “together” with Jesus is the quiet part of trust; He is alive IN every part of faith for every day of every week AND this Easter morning. That’s BIG! Alleluia!
Jesus, the Way, the Truth, the Life has the final word this Easter…
“What are you discussing “together” as you walk along?”
It’s resurrection day! I’m remembering this very special week in Jesus’s life thru the filter of coronavirus today. Holy Week this year began very differently than most of us would have expected. Coronavirus moved us from participation to isolation and gave us a conscious awareness of the reality of our need to be safe.
Our senses have been bombarded all week with grim truths that describe the endless march of a viral enemy beyond our control. But there is another truth that has become the glimmer of “good” hope during this week. It’s hope that reaches beyond the stress of physical distancing, fears for our safety, illness, ventilators, and death…into the future.
The hope of the future of humanity has been revealed through the conscious, sacrificial and persistent service of ordinary people despite personal risk to themselves. That hope is a reality because of this truth; God has intentionally intervened in the hearts of those ordinary people to equip them to surpass even the best of human motives.
people have shown us a Holy
love that saves, in real time,
to make God’s divine
to all of
In the year of our Lord 2020
Jesus Christ lives to be a part of our future and our hope.
“He is not here; he has risen, just as he said.”
[Matthew 28:6 NIV]
Christ is Risen! Lent has reached it’s apex. Thanks to Pastor Carl Franzon for sharing this meaningiful writing from Br. Curtis Almquist, SSJE. It’s the ultimate revelation of the truth of Easter. We have a Savior who will not remain buried even by the whims of our humanity and the reality of a broken world.
“Wherever we bury Jesus, he comes back to life. We can bury him in the Bible or in stained glass windows. We can bury him in creeds and formulas and the heritage of our own tradition. We can bury him in movies and plays and music. We can bury him in our past. We can even bury him in bread and wine. And each time from each place he rises from the dead. He sheds the words and images and walks right on out into the world.”
Matthew 28:6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. [NIV]
Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. 3 Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
1. one that gives evidence, specifically: one who testifies in a cause or before a judicial tribunal.
2. one asked to be present at a transaction so as to be able to testify to its having taken place.
What a day! I’m thankful I have a “great cloud of witnesses;” the heroes of the Bible and real-life saints whose evidence has become part of my life of faith. I’m thankful this morning for the realization that in addition to those heroes and saints that great cloud also includes what the dictionary defines as the judicial tribunal; God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. I’m celebrating a new awareness on this day of the Resurrected Perfecter.
“For the joy set before him he [Jesus] endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” We’re quite familiar with the middle part of that sentence; “[Jesus] endured the cross, scorning its shame” and we know the end of the story – He’s risen, Hallelujah! But pay special attention to the first and last last phrases of that sentence. “For the joy set before him” followed by “and [Jesus] sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
This Easter morning I have a new awareness there was a celebration of joy at the “throne of God” when the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were physically reunited. Their reunion completed our list of witnesses in that great cloud and put the final plan in place. The Sovereign Judge, the Resurrected Perfecter and the Evidence of Truth were to be witnesses AND evidence forever on our behalf.
That’s what makes this Easter celebration the best day of your life! Hallelujah!
John 20:11 Now Mary stood outside the tomb crying. As she wept, she bent over to look into the tomb 12 and saw two angels in white,seated where Jesus’ body had been, one at the head and the other at the foot. 13 They asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?” “They have taken my Lord away,” she said, “and I don’t know where they have put him.” 14 At this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she did not realize that it was Jesus. 15 He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” 16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned toward him and cried out in Aramaic, “Rabboni!”(which means “Teacher”).
Remember the chorus of a country music song from awhile back?
I was lookin’ for love in all the wrong places
Lookin’ for love in too many faces
Searchin’ their eyes, lookin’ for traces
Of what I’m dreamin’ of…
This Scripture reminded me of that chorus and how easy it is to miss a new encounter with Jesus because of mistaken identity or because we’re looking in all the wrong places. We think we know just what to expect of him, but…
Jesus may not always always look like what we’ve imagined he would…or even should…look like. We may find him in places and situations we never expected we would see him. That would certainly describe this early morning encounter between Mary and Jesus. Look how her awareness of the world changed when he spoke her name.
This is Easter morning, 2016, the most important reminder of your spiritual life. Remember hearing Jesus first speak your name? That was Continue reading