RESURRECTION CHANGES THINGS
Jesus himself appeared and stood among the eleven and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? … Luke 24:36-38
The weather has been just about perfect the past few days, hasn’t it? Trees and flowers are blooming, clapping their hands with joy and singing alleluias!! The birds join in. Listen! We hear it softly at first. “The Lord has risen indeed. Alleluia.” Then louder – “THE LORD HAS RISEN INDEED! ALLELUIA!” All creation sings along. So, why do we have doubts, today?
The disciples had this problem, too. Only a few had witnessed the crucifixion, but there were witnesses. Mary, and some of the other women, had been there and seen it all. Mary had stayed by his tomb, and she said that she had seen him alive. Others saw the stone had been rolled away and angels told them Jesus was no longer dead but had risen as he had said he would. There were rumors that he had appeared to others, too. But could it be true? Maybe so. Then what’s the problem?
I was touched by this reflection from Laura Darling in 50 days of Fabulous about two years ago. So much so that I am going to repeat it.: “Why do doubts arise in our hearts? Because you were dead, that’s why! Not only merely dead, but really, most sincerely dead. May I say it again? Dead. Not resting. Not stunned. You had passed on, ceased to be, expired. You were bereft of life, you had kicked the bucket, you had shuffled off this mortal coil. You were dead and buried, and we were never going to see you again. That’s what death means, you know. It means separation. It means all last chances are gone. It means there’s no chance for anything to be any different between us.
“And now here you are, and it’s not a delusion, and you’re not a ghost, and you’re eating a friggin’ fish. So forgive me if I’m a little wigged out here, but that’s not how life is supposed to go. It’s supposed to go in a certain direction. It’s supposed to allow for no revisions. What’s past is past, what’s done is done, what’s gone is gone, what’s dead is dead.
“I’ve got to tell you, Jesus, you have broken those rules so badly I don’t even know where to put them anymore. I don’t think there’s any charity that would take them, you’ve messed them up so badly. And now that those rules about the past and the future, death and life, you and me, are in the rubbish, I’ve got to ask you, what else are you going to change?”— (underline, mine)
What else is going to change, indeed? I’ve had many changes in my life this year. I know Jesus has been involved in them. I’m sure in your changes, too. So, why do we doubt? Why do we wonder if it is really Jesus showing up in our lives? Did he not say he would? We could miss, in this story, that Jesus shows himself to the disciples while they are doubting. Their doubts didn’t keep him away. Nor do ours. What are our doubts today? Where is Jesus showing himself? What is changing? What is he resurrecting in you and me? Because, resurrection changes things. Alleluia!
Come, young and old from every land – Men and women of the faith;
Come, those with full or empty hands – Find the riches of His grace.
Over all the world, His people sing – Shore to shore we hear them call
The Truth that cries through every age: “Our God is all in all”!
~ Keith and Kristyn Getty, Stuart Townend