Resurrection Faith

April 6, 2021

He is Risen!  Yes, we can and should still say that even a few days after Easter.  In fact, it’s good to do so.  The resurrection of Jesus is important to keep in front of us as long as possible because it’s not just good news.  It is the best news.  What looked like a tragic ending was actually a glorious new beginning that continues to inspire worship, devotion, and action.

I’m grateful for the various resurrection accounts.  They are so human and real.   We see the disciples mourning deeply and then reacting to the news of the resurrection in the same way that you and I might.  Sometimes, new information is so beyond our understanding, so beyond our frame of reference or our expectations that there’s just no room for it.  In those times, we may have to hear it repeatedly before it actually sinks in.  That’s what we find in Luke chapter 24.  

READ LUKE 24:1-12.

Mary Magdalene, Joanna, and several other women have just been to the tomb where Jesus was laid.  It was empty, but for two men with “dazzling apparel” who ask them a stunning question, “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”  Fear, confusion, and awe fall upon these first witnesses to the resurrection and they bow down to the ground.  

Then the angels tell the women to remember.  Remember how Jesus said he would be delivered to sinful men, crucified, and rise on the third day.   And remember they did.  I can imagine them nodding - “Yes, I remember, that’s exactly what Jesus said!! - even while they are disbelieving what they were hearing and seeing.

So the women go to tell Jesus’ followers who are still deep in mourning and despair.  No one has room for hope at this point so their report is met with disbelief.  Except for Peter.  Peter’s brash confidence has been brought low by the Lord enough times that he’s willing to consider new possibilities.  So, he rises and runs.  At the tomb, Peter sees the linens lying there.  No doubt he wondered, “Who would take the body and leave the wrappings?!”  And so he goes away marveling.  

It’s good to marvel.  To marvel is inherently humbling and awe-filled.  It asks questions but knows that there likely aren’t easy answers.  It allows space for the unanticipated.

Within a few hours, other disciples bring a report of another encounter with the risen Lord (Luke 24:13-35).  Collectively, they have been prepared.  Abruptly, Jesus himself is standing there among them.  Overcoming or ignoring their fear and disbelief, he begins to teach them once again “opening their minds to understand the Scriptures…”  Before they’re even at peace with what they’re seeing, Jesus is charging them to proclaim to the nations that repentance for the forgiveness of sins can be found in his name and then promising that they will soon be emboldened by the Holy Spirit (vv. 47-48).  Wow.  That’s a lot.

BY FAITH

Even today, blessed as we are with the full scriptural narrative, the resurrection is a lot to take in.  We are forced to confront an implicit bias we carry.  We live in an anti-supernaturalist culture, where we have been taught to believe that there is a scientific explanation for everything.  We do not, however, get such an explanation for the resurrection.  We just get the report that it happened.  

Theologian Darrell Bock writes that “the resurrection is important, even essential, because it is the door to new life in Christ, the key to which is faith.”  Bock is saying, that we can’t ignore the resurrection or discount it.  We can follow in the disciples’ footsteps as we remember, marvel at it, and ultimately embrace it.  It is a grace from God that we can accept the truth of it, but of course, we are saved by His grace through faith.  By faith, we accept the resurrection of Jesus Christ.  By faith, we enter into a relationship with God, and by faith, we receive a glimpse of what life will be like with Him after we meet our mortal end.  He is risen.  He is risen indeed.  

About The Author

Dan Wendell

Dan joined the Cornerstone team in November 2018 as the Pastor of Missions. His focus is on empowering the church family to step beyond the boundaries of CCLB to declare the Good News, so that the Body of Christ might be established where it would not otherwise occur. In addition, Dan provides oversight for Cornerstone’s Care ministries.