This week’s reflection comes from
Mr. Fred Risser
and Member of Synod Council
God of mercy, we no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for he is alive and has become the Lord of life. Increase in our minds and hearts the risen life we share with Christ, and help us to grow as your people toward the fullness of eternal life with you, through Jesus Christ, our savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.
HOLY GOSPEL LUKE 24: 1-12
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices which they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel; and as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and on the third day rise.” And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with whom they told this to the apostles; but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them.
Christ is risen, we are risen, hallelujah. The well known Easter story begins at dawn at his tomb where his followers assume that Jesus is dead. They are prepared to anoint the body with spices and the discovery of the empty tomb is confusing and frightening. It is very difficult to believe that the dead can rise. The dead are supposed to remain dead. Angels inform the women that Jesus is not dead but has risen. The women meet the resurrection through this message as they are told that Jesus has risen. We have the word of the resurrection which is contrary to our perception of truth. Nonbelief and skepticism are the only rational conclusions to the finality of death. The women spread the resurrection message to others and it is called “an idle tale.”
The Easter message challenges our belief that death always wins and that all eventually expire. This message states that death is real but it is not final. In Jesus, life eternal gets the final word. Christians are called from their old belief in death to a new belief in life. The wild claim that the crucified Jesus has risen seems ridiculous. One has to question and ask, what if this is true? What if death is real but not final? Is Jesus simply not past but also present? What would life be like if we were to meet Jesus face to face?
God continues to challenge the finality of death with the promise of new life. The Lord affirms that death is not absolute and through the living Jesus God gives us the gift of eternal life. These are powerful words. A new day has begun with the risen Lord and the promise of abundant life.
O god, you gave your only Son to suffer death on the cross for our redemption and by his glorious resurrection you delivered us from the power of death. Make us die every day to sin, so that we may live with him forever in the joy of the resurrection; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.
May you all have a Blessed Easter Sunday