“I am the resurrection and the life,” Jesus said. “Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?” – John 11:25-26
NEW LIFE! There really is nothing that testifies to Easter life more eloquently than springtime. That’s why I had to borrow one more of my daughter Naomi’s excellent photographs for the lead picture this morning.
Children and flowers beautifully illustrate what God is up to in creation, and they do it with purity and verve, redolent with freshness and new life.
Remember what Jesus said in his Sermon the Mount? “Look at the flowers in the field, and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet even Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are.” – Matthew 6:28-29
The children, and the flowers, are more than beautiful – they are charged with a special kind of life. Not just fresh, but vibrant. Ebullient.
Easter morning is ebullience magnified, loaded with exploding life and extra pizzazz.
RESURRECTION: The resurrection of Jesus is a historical fact, and his triumph over death is the critical moment in the birth of The Church. But now, two thousand years later, there’s an even more awesome reality, a tour de force that can’t be contained this or any morning: Jesus is alive today!
Not merely someone who came “back” to life, but someone who was – who is – the firstborn of a new creation, a new kind of life, a reality that holds the promise of eternity and invites us to enter the Kingdom of God right now!
Here’s how I phrased this amazing truth in the last part of my Wake Forest Today column this weekend:
Easter Sunday, then, is nothing so pedestrian, so run-of-the-mill, so yesterday’s-news as Jesus “coming back” to life. What Jesus did was far more important. Jesus was resurrected “forward” into something brand new; he shattered the entire equation of life and death, and ushered in a new kind of life, one that he immediately turned around and offered to the entire world.
Here’s my challenge this weekend. If you plan on coming to church to celebrate the news that some guy came back to life 2,000 years ago… then I urge you to rethink the whole story.
This is far and away better than what happened to Lazarus! This is why I wake up motivated, and excited, and grateful every single day of my life.
“I am the resurrection and the life,” Jesus said. “Those who believe in me, even though they die, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this?“ – John 11: 25-26