Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Easter Sunrise - Dawn of a New World

Preached on early Easter morning, March 27, 2016
Scripture reading: Luke 24:1-12
Easter shows that God has come into the world as a human being to die on a cross in order to make us wrong about this world that he rules as Lord. Easter still shows that we need to learn our mistake.
Priest Rapids Lake/Columbia River
Desert Aire/Mattawa WA
Easter, March 27, 2016
The men disciples, who stayed at home, were wrong because they were too grief-filled to come to the tomb to, even find out that they were wrong. The women disciples, who came to the tomb were wrong because they came to the tomb of Jesus to grieve and to mourn.
The grief, the pain, the anger and the numbing loss of the disciples at the dawn of the first Easter were right, so far as it all went. It was the first healthy step on the way to something more.
It was the first healthy step on their way to knowing Jesus, risen and alive. But, unless they learned to know this risen Jesus, their first healthy step would never take them to the Jesus they needed; the Jesus who would protect them from repeating the old mistake of this world.
We need to know the risen Jesus so that we know that suffering, death, corruption, and evil don’t have the last word. They don’t rule. It’s true that they still suck, but Jesus rules. In Jesus, life rules this world. 
In Jesus, God has made this world so wonderful that it is nearly beyond our understanding. Jesus shared our death so that all shall be made alive. “As in Adam, all die; even so, in Christ, shall all be made alive.” (1 Corinthians 15:22)
Usually we are at a loss in the face of our own defeats and griefs, and at the defeats and griefs of others, and at the pain of the whole world. The surprise of Easter means that sometimes we ought to be at a loss and wondering what to do next, in the face of something too wonderful for us to understand.
We ought to be “at a loss” (wondering) how to live in a world where the resurrection is the rule and the promise of God in Christ. We really don’t know how to live in such an empowered world. The resurrection happened to give us a God-empowered world. We don’t know what to do in such a world.
The other disciples thought the women were crazy and talking nonsense. These disciples had to be overcome, just as the angels overcame the women at the tomb. We have to be overcome by the resurrection in order to really understand and be changed by it.
It takes babies months, and even longer, to learn how to see and hear, and how to interpret, and how to relate to the world around them: the faces, the hands and arms, the voices and the noises, the warmth and the cold, the fullness and the hunger, the poopy-ness and the cleanness, the light and the dark that surround them.

What Jesus did for us, and for the world, on the first Easter, is an event that, when we find it, is greater than being born. We ought to be giddy. We ought to be off balance all the time, trying to take in a whole new world. We have been born again into a world where every moment could begin with the words, “Christ is risen.”

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