April 24, 2019
Scripture Luke 23:44-24:11
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.”
Luke 24: 5b NRSV
Lent is over. Holy Week has come and gone. The church staff and leadership have worked diligently to create, and deliver, several worship services in the previous 8-9 days. And, the purpose of all of this is to proclaim the reality of an empty tomb near Jerusalem. Jesus is risen! This is the Good News that we proclaim.
However, if we are able to read the scripture lesson all the way through, we notice that the whole thing seems to fall flat, totally! There is good reason for that. Jesus had tried repeatedly to prepare the disciples for this ending that quickly became a New Beginning
(Luke 18:18-30). The disciples simply were not ready for this new reality. Sometimes, you and I might feel very far removed from those events 2000 years ago. But, when we can look at our own witness, I believe that God finds it lacking, as well. The result is that, if we are honest with ourselves, our experience is very much like this description of doubt and unbelief conveyed by in Luke. The disciples are hiding, actually cringing, in fear at the news of an empty tomb.
The reality of the news escapes them: Jesus is not among the dead. He is risen! The Good News that is the Gospel seems to stop with their failure to react to it. But, more importantly for us, how does this incredible event affect us? Does it change the essence of who we are? Are we still thinking and acting selfishly, or are we genuinely converted into disciples: servants of God called by Christ?
If you can, read the lesson through again and see if it speaks to your heart. The church is looking to us who claim to be believers. Christ asks us to step up as witnesses: to proclaim and live out the teachings and love given to us by God- through Jesus Christ.