The Living among the Dead…

This morning (Easter Sunday) our community celebrated the Resurrection together, with a chilly, early start – 7am, just before sunrise – at Bicentennial Park in Greensboro…followed by an epic-sized breakfast and worship at Jam’s. The music and the fellowship of the believers was sweet, all topped off with a benediction around a Cross decorated with fresh flowers. (see pics from Resurrection Sunday at Awaken)

I can’t begin to explain how majestic the setting was this morning this morning just before 7am,The Cross sitting in the parking lot before the sunrise, listening to the birds announce the first light of the day and imagining what it must have been like a couple of thousand years ago when Jesus shows up alive in a garden (nonetheless), ready to put things back to the way things were originally supposed to be in us and in the world around us…

Imagine the Resurrection…

This weekend, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking on the words spoken by the angel to those who were first on the scene to witness the empty tomb: Why do you look for the living among the dead? (Luke 24:5) I had an opportunity to share some of these thoughts this morning, but a couple of things stand out to me here and wanted to share…

First, a question: How am I guilty of this same thing? Where am I, too, searching for the living among the dead? To think of all the times in life when I’ve witnessed and experienced the power of the Resurrected Christ, only to find myself back at the tombs wondering, “How did I get back here?” I love how the angel reminds them of the obvious; Remember how He (Jesus) told you while He was still with you…’The Son of Man must be…crucified and on the third day be raised again.’ Then they remembered… For me, the refreshing thing about Resurrection Sunday is that it’s a day to be reminded (and boy, do I need to be…), to remember that Christ has been raised, and with Him, us as well. Reminded that the same resurrection power that raised Christ from the grave has been made available and is at work in me. Do you need to be reminded of this, too? Remember what He told you…

Secondly, go back to the question, Why do you look for the living among the dead?…and consider, “Are people around me seeing proof of the Resurrection?” Historically, the centerpiece of Christianity hasn’t been a cross, but rather, an empty tomb. Many people have been crucified, but we believe that only One has the power to be raised back to life. So, if our greatest claim to the person and power of Christ is an empty tomb, there must be some proof we must offer. That’s why Jesus’ desire is to see His life lived on through us. Yet, I would argue that one of the central reasons as to why people don’t believe in not only the Resurrection of Christ but in the person and identity of Christ is because they see little if any proof in our lives of His Resurrection Life in us.

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Which brings us to a huge question here…What will it take, what has to happen in me for people around me to believe the Resurrection?

The truth is, only when people encounter Christ personally will they believe. The disciples on the road to Emmaus encountered Christ personally, but didn’t recognize Him until He blessed and broke the bread in front of them. So, perhaps the most practical way for the world to encounter Christ personally through us, to witness the living among the dead is for us to be the broken bread.

Christians who are alive and giving life to others…is there any greater proof of the Resurrection in us?

 

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