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I know Easter is over, but today I was struck anew with the hope that is born from the resurrection. The entire passion story presented a great conundrum to the ancients because they thought is unthinkable that the Messiah, that anyone who was God or was even favored by God, could be crucified. In our modern day, sadly, most of us acknowledge that the world and societies can cruelly dispatch even the finest of God’s people through a variety of cruel, barbaric means. We know such a claim will neither create a scandal nor being thought silly-we’ve seen it on TV too often. At the same time, the resurrection was a total surprise to the disciples. One they understood it, however, it was a source of great joy to them. It is the great stumblingblock to many and there are vast multitudes who view it as a fool’s belief. After all, how does any intelligent person living in the world of modern 21st century science believe in a walking dead man?
Frederick Buechner believes exactly that. He says, “But I can tell you this: that what I believe happened and what in faith and with great joy I proclaim to you here is that he somehow got up, with life in him again, and the glory upon him. And I speak very plainly here, very un-fancifully, even though I do not understand well my own language. I was not there to see it any more than I was awake to see the sun rise this morning, but I affirm it as surely as I do that by God’s grace the sun did rise this morning because that is why the world is flooded with light.”
Think about it: even if Jesus had promised us a resurrection of our bodies, but had not raised himself, who would believe him? Who would have reason for hope?
Fortunately, Jesus was a man not of just words, but of action. He backed up his words through what he did, and never was that more important than when he exited the tomb as a living, breathing human being. I don’t know how precisely, but “somehow he got up”…and that makes all the difference between hope and despair.
PRAYER: Thank you, God, for Your great power that raised Jesus from the dead in great power and glory! In Jesus’ name, Amen.
© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.
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