This is the Resurrection season. As creation around us bursts forth with colorful bloom, it serves as testimony to Jesus, who burst forth from the grave and from death’s strictures to stand again, in the flesh, amid His disciples, alive.
In His new, Resurrected state, he showed them His nail-scarred hands, and wounded side, inviting Thomas to touch him and know for sure. He ate among them, conversing, teaching, loving them. Those forty days had to be the most amazing days the remaining disciples had ever known.
The Day of Resurrection and the forty days which follow it this year are also our time to be in touch with the victorious Lord of Life.
Because Jesus rose bodily, we, too, connected by faith to Him, shall rise bodily after we have left these bodies of death. Because of the appearance of sin in this world, we were born into sin’s economy, inheriting it from our parents as they did from theirs. In short, we were born corrupted — born to die. But God’s original plan had been that we would live for Him here and enjoy life with Him forever. Jesus is God’s proof that God’s original plan is open to us, and guaranteed for all who believe Him.
In the life of the Church, we call the first day of the week the Lord’s Day, because, on this day of the week, Jesus rose from the dead and left the tomb empty. Every Sunday is a little “day of Resurrection.” This worship reminds us that our entire life, beginning at Baptism, is a life of dying and rising. Check out the “dying and rising” motif of the Christian life: We worship, and celebrate the forgiveness of sins [sins=”dying;” forgiveness=”rising.”] which Jesus won on the cross for us. We celebrate heaven’s open door, and the prospect of entering there — all by God’s grace alone. Should we fall into sin, the forgiveness paid for at the cross cleanses us and raises us up. Should we fall into bad circumstances and be humbled, it is God’s pleasure to exalt us in due time. Should we be part of a rift in relation to a friend, He calls us to repentance, and leads us through reconciliation to live in a renewed, restored relationship. When we commit ourselves to Him each evening and go to sleep, He keeps us through the night and wakes us at the dawn with His mercies refreshing and new. And one day, when we close our eyes in death, he will bring us to paradise, and raise us bodily on the last day.
So our daily life is re-defined by resurrection, as is our final day. Jesus summed it up this way: “Because I live, you also will live.” [John 14:19]. The resurrection lifestyle is not available apart from His death and subsequent resurrection. But it is provided to you and me in full by Jesus Christ.
When I got my start here on earth I was born to die. Even now, as all the world reawakens in colorful beautiful springtime, I was born to die. I owned my sin, but could not beat it, outrun it, or shake it off. My life was blessed in many ways, but I was not free, not able to achieve in the best sense, as long as sin defined each day.
Now, born into the family of God through Baptism and the Word, I have been made a child of God. Courtesy of my Lord Jesus Christ, I have been born into His kingdom to live in Resurrection beauty, Resurrection forgiveness, Resurrection power each day, and Resurrection victory at the last.
So it is for all whose trust is in Him. Resurrection living is beautiful.