Monday, April 05, 2010

Resurrection for the World

Jesus did not rise from the dead in order that you could go to heaven when you die. He could have accomplished that without rising from the dead. If the point is merely going to heaven or having some kind eternal, happy existence then Jesus could have gone straight on up to heaven from His death, with no need to rise from the dead.

No, the resurrection of Jesus occurred so that we might rise from the dead. Jesus rose from the dead so that this entire world might rise from the dead. Jesus came healing, befriending, casting out demons, and exposing all evil, violence, and oppression, and this was not just a big show to prove that He was really God. He was really God, and He was really God come to bring the Life of God to the world. Healing, feeding, building a community of love and sacrifice, this is the life of the Father, Son, and Spirit, and Jesus rose from the dead in order to make that life fill and renew this world.

This world was plunged into death in Adam’s sin. The earth was cursed when Adam sinned, and all relationships were marred with sin and guilt. But when Jesus burst out of that tomb two thousand years ago, the earth began to heal. While God had promised that Adam would return to the dust in death, Jesus went down into that dust, undid the curse, and came back out of the grave in glory. While God promised enmity between man and woman, Jesus met Mary Magdalene in the garden, and assured her that all was being made new. And finally, when Jesus returned to heaven, He did so to heal our broken relationship with the Father of all glory.

Behold, I make all things new, Jesus said. And behold, it is completely and wonderfully true. So as you greet one another today and throughout this season, say frequently and joyfully: Christ is risen. This is not just an announcement. It is the blessing of all blessings. It is our hope, our certainty, our joy, our glory. Christ is risen: all is being put right. Christ is risen: death where is your sting? Christ is risen: let all the nations come and worship Him. Christ is risen: let the wicked be scattered and flee. Christ is risen. He is risen indeed.

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