Life Theology

Easter Sunday Meditation

This is a re-post of the Passion series from last year.

Luke 24:25-27:

And Jesus said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not neccesssary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”  And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

It’s early Sunday afternoon, just outside Jerusalem, on a dusty, lonely road to a small village named Emmaus.  Two followers of Jesus are walking and talking, depressed and downtrodden because their Messiah was murdered on Friday and his body lay in a tomb. Or so they thought.

Jesus comes near to them and asks what they were talking about. They stop dead in their tracks, look at Jesus and ask, “Don’t you read the news?” Jesus says, “Tell me about it.”  They say, “Jesus of Nazareth. They killed him. We thought he was our Redeemer. It’s been three days, and he’s still dead. But some women and some of our friends went to his tomb and did not see him. An angel told the women he was alive.” Now Jesus stops, and says, “Don’t you read the Prophets?”

Well, he might have well said that.

He said, in Luke 24:25, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not neccesssary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”  Jesus’ resurrection and reign at the Father’s right hand is all the more glorious because he suffered a tortuous death. The plan was not for Jesus to live to a ripe old age, die peacefully, and then claim victory. No, he was pierced and beaten and mocked and crucified as a relatively young age — just as the Prophets said he would be.

But he didn’t stay dead.  If not for today, Good Friday would be Bad Friday. Our sins really wouldn’t be forgiven, and there would be no life after death.  The Apostle Paul said, “If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins” (1 Cor. 15:17).  But he did rise, and with his resurrection, he gives eternal life to all those who believe, that even though we die, we might live.  In John 11, before Jesus called Lazarus back from dead, he told Martha, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?” (vv. 25-26).

Because of this day, Easter Sunday, everyone who believes in Jesus has hope that there will be life after the grave.  And so we sing with the saints of old:

Up from the grave he arose, with a mighty triumph o’er his foes.
He arose the Victor from the dark domain,
And he lives forever with his saints to reign.
He arose! He arose! Hallelujah Christ arose!

Heavenly Father, thank you for Resurrection Sunday. Thank you that Jesus did not stay dead. Unlike all other ‘gods,’ you are alive and reigning over creation! God, thank you that one day too, because Jesus rose, I will rise even though I die, and I will live in your presence for eternity.


Passion Week – Saturday Meditation

Part 6 in a 7 part series. View series intro and index.

Isaiah 55:1-3:

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and he who has no money, come, buy and eat! Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread, and your labor for that which does not satisfy? Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good, and delight yourselves in rich food. Incline your ear, and come to me; hear, that your soul may live; and I will make you an everlasting covenant, my steadfast, sure love for David.”

During Jesus’ ministry, he said, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink” (John 7:37). When people heard this, no doubt their minds saw the words of Isaiah when he quoted Yahweh, saying, “Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters!”

I’m thirsty for Jesus, but I want to be more thirsty. So often I take a couple sips from the divine glass of joy that Jesus offers, only to be satisfied five minutes later by my own self-righteousness, the Internet, entertainment, or something else.  I want to delight myself in true, rich food, not worthless food that will only leave me empty.

Good Friday is about reflection and repentance. On that day, Jesus bore the wrath of God for my sins. He took all my transgressions on his shoulders. Today, Saturday, is not about hiding out and passively waiting for Sunday. It’s about expectantly waiting for Sunday to arrive.  It’s about going to the tomb and waiting up all night, holding on to Jesus’ promise that he will rise. It’s doing what God, through Isaiah, told us to do: “Come to me!”

Father God, by your Spirit, make me glad in you alone. Give me the power to come to Jesus today, clinging to the Cross as my only hope for righteousness and forgiveness. And help me celebrate Resurrection Sunday this year — and every day — as my only hope for eternal life in your presence.