We welcome Easter morn with shouts of “Jesus is risen. He is risen indeed!” As they echo through our sanctuary, I wonder if that truth will continue to resonate through our lives. Jesus is risen, we proclaim. His resurrection is to be a new, ongoing reality for us; one that changes our actions and very being. This is present tense, touching our here and now; in our lives, our world, and his holy universal church.
Yet like those first disciples surprised by the empty tomb, we can instead get lost in that past moment of time. The resurrection tends to serve as a historical marker rather than a living sign for our present reality. We remain stuck in our shock and fear trying to make sense of things. What can such a resurrection mean? Perhaps more so, what can it mean for me?
Soon after that first Easter morning, Peter preached that Jesus was not abandoned to the realm of the dead, nor did his body see decay. Paul explains to us in many of his letters that through faith the power of that resurrection makes us a new being, a child of God, and we will be heirs to Christ’s victory to share in that resurrection forever.
This is all true, yet neither great Apostle came to understand the resurrection as a singular past event or one all about our far off future with Christ. Instead, the Risen Christ and the Holy Spirit woke them from their initial shock. It was revealed that they were to share in the living resurrection for eternity – starting now. Christ’s light is to shine through us as we walk with him and talk with him, but unlike that old Gospel song (In the Garden), we cannot tarry there.
Jesus instead tells us, “I have come that you may have life, and have it abundantly.” This resurrected life isn’t one found by standing alone; mute and in shock. It isn’t a life solely about what Jesus can do for us as individuals or a community. It calls us to action.
The resurrected life that we are invited to share is one of living relationship. It is one of service, fellowship, and corporate worship. It is one where we seek to follow Jesus each day and introduce him to others. It is one where we might even be called to share in the sting of Christ’s sacrifice and cross out of love.
Let’s not just stand here pondering. Let’s live like we believe in the resurrection. As the Father has sent him, he sends us now. Among the greatest miracles, Jesus has chosen to make the resurrection universal and eternal through our own unworthy love and lives. We must now go and share that miracle with others, for Jesus is truly risen in us. We are to live as his risen body, a resurrected people, forever – starting now.
Christ’s peace be with you always,
Unless otherwise indicated, all scripture quotations for this article are from the New Revised Standard Version (NRSV) translation.
© 2013 The Rev. Louis Florio. All content not held under another’s copyright may not be used without permission of the author.