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Three limitations to how we see the Resurrection
Easter Sunday is our independence day, as Christians. 2000 years ago when the first Easter happened, Jesus gave us all the opportunity to celebrate Easter every day of our lives. We are living out of the power of his resurrection. We embrace it every day, and we long for complete resurrection in an age to come. Eternity starts now and it’s coming. We live in the hope of Christ’s resurrection, just as we were singing Charles Wesley’s classic hymn last night, published in 1739. We are all singing “Alleluia!” yesterday, celebrating our Risen Savior and the hope he gives us to BE RISEN! In fact, we’re entering a whole new season where we are celebrating the Resurrection of Jesus while we await the coming of the Holy Spirit (on another Christian Holiday: Pentecost—that’s our birthday!). A few ways you can get into this season. Change your profile picture to this image on social media for the 50 day celebration. The flame is for the Holy Spirit and the phrase Be Risen is what we want to declare. Use the hashtag #BeRisen to keep it going; or wear a pin (pick it up at one of our PMs)! Just like Wesley writes and we sing—“All creation wakes to say.” The heavens sing it and the earth replies. We’re doing that! According to Wesley, it’s not just enough to declare that He is Risen, we might want to know a little more about it. Wesley explains that that Jesus died for us and we’re all saved. The glorious king lives again—he sarcastically asks death where its sting is, where is your victory, O grave? He uses an image of military conflict to describe how Jesus has defeated death. “Love’s redeeming work is done.” Jesus fought death and won. Death in vain tried to keep him dead, and now Jesus has opened up paradise for us, both as a place to live now and a place to live forever. That’s the point of the resurrection—it shows Jesus’ hope for humanity, that the Kingdom can be brought here, on this earth. That despite our flaws, despite the evil that lurks around us, God’s rule is still stronger. Jesus conquered death! And so can we! Today, right now. When follow Jesus—our exalted head, we are made like Him. We resurrect too! All of the work he’s done—through the cross, through conquering the grave, and His ascension into the skies is ours! We are following Jesus’ lead and resurrecting. But even through that truth, it isn’t so easy to see God today. We might wonder where he is, like Mary does in John 20. It’s so easy to not know where Jesus is in our lives. We might easily feel the anxiety that Mary feels. Through the darkest seasons of our lives, Jesus might feel dead, as dead as he was on Good Friday. How do we get through that? How do we break through that pain of where to find Jesus? One suggestion: feel your pain, suffer the loss, and wait on God to show up in a new way. It might not be easy. Actually feel your anxiety of not knowing by suffering a loss. The only way out is through. We might spread of anxiety to our friends and they might begin to share the fear. They might not understand. So often our reaction to Jesus being resurrected isn’t emotional, it’s cerebral. They aren’t worried that they can’t find—they don’t believe or understand that he could be Risen. How do we let go of our obsession with understanding? Find comfort in the unknown. Let God’s mystery work through you. Control less. Isn’t understanding just about cerebral control? What else are we holding on to? What are we stuck on? How stubborn are we being? But more than just emotional or logical, we may have a different problem—like Mary seems to have here. We may know where Jesus is, and understanding (or not, and we’re at peace with it), but we may not want to change. We may be holding on to who Jesus is for us and not letting him to change us again. How does the resurrection apply to us in a new season and in a new life? What are we holding on? Why does Jesus need to move in the same way he always did for us? Let go of your expectations for God by praying and relating. Become OK with feeling disappointed with God. Try something new this season; something that you wouldn’t normally let yourself try. Listen to someone else’s story and see if it moves you. Know that all of the doubt, worry, and stuckness that you might feel today and this season is OK. Just because you’re shouting “Be Risen!” doesn’t mean that you always feel that way, but see if you can fake it before you make it. God is alive and moving in you. And if you aren’t there yet, that’s OK. You are still made like Him. You are still made to rise. Yours is still the cross, the grave, and the sky.