The Risen Jesus: A Punchline

The Risen Jesus: A Punchline

Jesus is Risen, Jesus is Risen indeed! This year we celebrate Easter on April Fool’s but for us the resurrection of  Jesus is no joke. The Resurrection isn’t just a metaphor or a nice symbol we reference to make us happy. It is a true and assured hope that there is Life after Death. That Death is not the end, but it is a beginning for us as we continue to learn and trust in Jesus Christ.

How does the resurrection change our lives? What difference does it make that we worship Jesus, who lived, died and was resurrected? As Luther might ask “What does this mean?”

It means that we can live unafraid of death and all that it brings with it. Many live in such a way that they will do ANYTHING to avoid pain, aging, illness and death. They go to extraordinary lengths to deny the inevitability of it, fooling only themselves and a few select others who are in on the game. We use drugs to lessen the impact of what’s coming, or we choose inappropriate and (ultimately) damaging lifestyles, or we try to fool ourselves into acting or looking much younger than we are, or we are simply paralyzed by fear into a kind of stupor that keeps us from doing or being anything.

It also means that we can live free from sin’s power. Has someone done something to you that still controls your heart and mind? Have you done something that has clouded or affected your whole life? Have you allowed prejudice or fear to warp your heart so that you cannot love and forgive? Trusting in the resurrection, you can let all that go. You can move forward toward something new, toward new life. When we trust in Jesus we trust in life itself as he told us “I am the Resurrection and the Life.” He proved this to us on Easter Sunday.

We are called to embrace the resurrection life Jesus offers us. Our true selves are found in Christ and in God our creator.  Embracing the resurrection life also means embracing the cross like Jesus. As Jesus told his disciples. “Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life.” John 12:15

In following Jesus, we die to ourselves (our ego) so that Christ can live in us. Someone told me that a good acronym for what ego really is Edging Grace Out. Just imagine if we didn’t edge out God’s grace in us. Imagine if we let God’s grace edge out sin and death in us and in the world around us. That is the hope of the Resurrection. That is the power of God’s grace that is able to overpower sin, death and evil. God is doing a resurrecting work in you right now. What can we as a community do to celebrate this resurrecting work?

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