Part 8: Dead Giveaway

Dead Giveaway - Easter Series Part 8 Based On Luke 24:5

Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? Luke 24:5

Early in the morning, some friends headed to the tomb where Jesus had been buried. Maybe they talked a little, held each other while they walked… Maybe there were tears, dark circles around eyes… the grief was just beginning. What was the next step? What would they do now?

As they approached the tomb, they noticed something very strange. The guards keeping watch were missing, the tomb was open, and a man they had never seen before stood by.

What had happened NOW? Had someone stolen his body? Had the authorities taken it? Could they not let Jesus rest in peace and allow those who loved him to grieve?!

Coinciding with Passover every year was the Feast of Unleavened Bread and the Feast of First Fruits. The year of Jesus death, the Feast of First Fruits began on the Sunday following His death. It celebrated the beginning of the Barley harvest.They would offer some as a burnt offering to the Lord, and only after this offering was complete could they continue to reap the harvest.

1 Cor 15:20-23 says,

“But, in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead. He is the first of a great harvest of all who have died. So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. But there is an order to this resurrection: Christ was raised as the first of the harvest; then all who belong to Christ will be raised when he comes back.”

Jesus, our Passover Lamb, humble and pure like unleavened bread, who was murdered and buried in the ground like a seed being planted into the earth, who would be our first fruits offering, was bringing about a new way, The WayHe was doing something that would blow the minds of all who dared to look and ask and see…

RESURRECTION.

The Angel told the women at the tomb,

“Why are you looking among the dead for someone who is alive? He isn’t here! He is risen from the dead! Remember what he told you back in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men and be crucified, and that he would rise again on the third day…”

John’s account of this Sunday morning says that the Angel was in fact Jesus and it took Mary some time to recognise Him. Our resurrected Saviour.

Resurrection isn’t just about eternal life, it’s not an insurance policy for what will happen in the age to come… Resurrection is the here and now. God is reconciling all things to himself through Christ. Jesus rose again into this life. He came back here. What happens here matters, how we treat each other here matters. Our LIVES matter!

More than we know.

Resurrection brings the hope of redemption, restoration and renewal. Our once dead and dying hearts, separated from the divine, unaware that we can live completely human and completely empowered by the supernatural, can be brought back to life without ever having to die.

Jesus, our Eucharist, the Good Gift, offers life to our hearts.

Today is a day of hope that goes beyond what happens after we die. It’s for tomorrow, next week, next year… for your father, your brother, your neighbour, your friend… even your enemy. Yourself.

God, the most ingenious author, who weaved all these epic stories throughout history and atoms and ages and times, and had them kiss at the cross, only to send these threads of grace out again in resurrection, to weave through more stories and lives displaying his upside down Kingdom of peace and unity.

And here today, we carry this resurrection in our bodies. We don’t use it to divide, we use it to heal, restore and bring hope.

“He was supreme in the beginning and—leading the resurrection parade—he is supreme in the end. From beginning to end, he’s there, towering far above everything, everyone. So spacious is he, so roomy, that everything of God finds its proper place in him without crowding. Not only that, but all the broken and dislocated pieces of the universe—people and things, animals and atoms—get properly fixed and fit together in vibrant harmonies, all because of his death, his blood that poured down from the cross.”

May you be filled with resurrection life and may you weave its story and grace through all that you do. In Jesus name.

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