See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland. – Isaiah 43:19
One of the popular refrains I hear from preachers is… “After this many years, how can I possibly think of anything original to say to people on Easter Sunday?” Many pastors say the same thing going into Christmas Eve.
“I have nothing to say” is not something I tend to hear from my wife, Rebekah (this is no surprise if you know her). Fresh understandings of faith are new every morning! This is the woman who answers the ubiquitous, “When did you give your life to Jesus?” question with, “Around 7:00 this morning, when Derek brought me my first cup of coffee. I make a new commitment to follow Jesus every single day.”
From that perspective, each and every new morning becomes something wonderful and loaded with potential, an opportunity that we – and God – can imagine together, a challenge to engage with new life, and zest, and fresh passion.
Easter morning, then, is all that and even more.
So it doesn’t make much sense to approach this amazing day by preaching without imagination, pressing down on the hard edges of doctrine, reciting tired old platitudes, bringing the same message from last year, or recycling yellowed notes – not when the Good News is so fresh, so vibrant, so unfettered, so visceral, and so alive with the beating heart of God’s new-every-morning love.
Don’t trundle out a frayed, cardboard-cutout of your preschool flannel board Jesus when the Risen Lord himself is waiting to be invited in! If Jesus doesn’t rock your world Easter morning, then maybe you need to get reacquainted. Christ didn’t slip out the back door of the tomb, or ease his way from a side entrance – he busted out on his own terms; he rolled back the stone; he rolls back every barrier we can imagine; resurrection power designed to revolutionize our lives!
Christ didn’t slip out the back door of the tomb, or ease his way from a side entrance – he busted out on his own terms; he rolled back the stone; he rolls back every barrier we can imagine; resurrection power designed to revolutionize our lives!
The Savior of the World wasn’t brought back to life, simply reanimating an old body, like Lazarus returned from the dead. Instead, Jesus became the first-born into a new kind of life. Not coming back to life but moving forward into something brand new and completely transformational.
This is the life we are invited to enter into Easter Morning! This is why following Jesus is not a religion so much as an invitation to live! This is why the church was born in the Resurrection! This is why Paul was able to say, “So if anyone is in Christ, there is a new creation: everything old has passed away; see, everything has become new!” (2 Corinthians 5:17)
This is why today’s message will likely spill out of Rebekah’s heart like new life busting out of a tomb. Not anything so mundane as a reanimated dead person… but a re-imagined, renewed, completely made over new creation!
He is risen! If that is true in the sense that Jesus taught, then let’s live like we’re new creation people! “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” (Luke 24:5-6)
He is Risen! – DEREK