Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Who says God can't? John 20:19-31?

Resurrection is the moment when God makes new life happen. Jesus, risen from the dead, is evidence that new life can and does break in to our world. Jesus, Paul said, is the first fruits of new life and death is the final enemy for him to defeat(1st Corinthians 15:20-26). The victory is there for us to see in Christ's scarred hands. Jesus, the one with scars open for his his friends to see, comes bringing life in his very being John 20:27.
Sure that may have happened 2000 years ago for Jesus, But what does resurrection mean for a sinner like me? It's one thing to talk about Jesus God's Son rising from the dead--but what about all of us broken people who deal with the consequences of our own sins and the sins of others in disease, death, and broken relationships. We face sin, death and the devil on a day to day basis. What does resurrection mean to us?
We might argue that it simply can't be so--we might be tempted to say there was and is no resurrection. Even Jesus' friends struggled to understand. They weren't ready to believe(John 20:23-26, Luke 24:11-12). It's easy to blame Thomas as the one who knew Jesus so well but still doubted--but others, the truth is nobody except God, David Lose argues, expects resurrection to happen. This is the moment when we see faith most clearly as a gift from God.
"Dead men don't rise." We say pointing to urns and cemeteries as proof. But Christ is proof and our faith is the evidence that somehow someway sustains us (Hebrews 11:1-2). It's faith that allows us to see that some day all things will be made new. Where there's sin the God of resurrection brings an attack of conscience, repentance, and amendment of life--and that cycle starts the beginning of new life in the here and now for an individual and a family. Where God brings faith there's no doubt that hope and joy will flow through the believer into all circumstances--and that cycle brings new life even in the face of sickness and immanent death.
Death is the final enemy--and Jesus rising is the evidence that God can defeat death. And for Jesus risen presence and work in my life today I give thanks.
Pax, John

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