The Humanity of Easter

9 04 2007

heavenToday, attending church with my parents, we found what one might expect from any typical Easter service across the nation.  The pastor jumped up on stage and shouted with a tired smile, “He is risen!” To which the faithful congregants shouted in reply, “He is risen indeed!”  It is a marvelous privilege to celebrate the risen Christ, the climax of the Christian story.  But all the talk of his rising, amidst the backdrop of choirs and clouds, can make him seem untouchable; distant at best.

In reading the resurrection account this morning (Luke 24), I caught a different glimpse of Jesus, one that pointed more to his humanity than ever before.  After the stone is rolled away, after the tomb is found empty and his followers are wrestling with the absence of God, Jesus comes back to his disciples.  And he seems to return with excitement and joy.  It is almost as if he had fun showing himself to them and asking questions about what they thought of it all. 

Having moved enough in my life now, I understand the ache of absence, and the joy in going back.  After being away from friends and family, there is something wonderful in reuniting with them, if even for a short while.  I love the return of Jesus after his resurrection.  It was only brief, to be sure, but for me, it highlights his humanity.  This is Jesus in community.  He had shared three intense years of ministry with these people, and no doubt knew of their brokeness after his death.  I love how he loved them and wanted to show them he lived.  I love that he longed to be with them and comfort and encourage them and send them off with a new purpose.  The Creator God was in their midst one last time.  What a gift – that Jesus could present himself not only as a sacrifice for their sin but as the manifestation of God’s faithful promise.  He had risen, sealing God’s covenant love with his blood, and was more present with them than ever before.

 Today is the day of God’s faithfulness.

Today is the day of God’s humanity.

Today is the day of understanding and sight.

Today is the day of fellowship with Jesus.

Today is the day of calling, of new purpose empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Today is the day of resurrection and new life, of God’s new creation after a sabbath day of darkness and despair.

 He is risen! And present with us, indeed!

Current listening: The unstoppable Oregon rain…