So what is the take away from Resurrection Sunday? At 12 Springs we had the privilege to share a meal with folks even during social distancing. We could call folks, tell them where to pick up the food and take it away to enjoy to celebrate Easter and know our extended Church family knows they are human and need that kind of contact! Some gave, some dished out, some packed up, some came and partook, after taking it away to the place of their choice...
But that's not the kind of take away I'm talking about. How about the after effects of the Messiah defeating death? Did Jesus die? Yes. Roman soldiers used to death and dying and making bodies dead, declared him so. The same type of military expertise sealed him in his tomb. Roman secular historians said he was executed under Pontius Pilate.
This is why his reappearances to eye witnesses and absence from the tomb was real news to them and should be to us. And the followers of Jesus were convinced to the point of being willing to die for believing in life after death and justification for that belief as promised by this Messiah. The Apostle Paul states
15 Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. 2 By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.3 For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance[a]: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that he appeared to Cephas,[b] and then to the Twelve. 6 After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. 7 Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, 8 and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. 1st Corinthians 15: 1-7. Paul was one of the people who saw a risen Savior. He was about the end of the line-he thought-status wise because the other Apostles of the original 12 all lived with Jesus and saw Him day-to-day. But Paul got there late. Still the Messiah made a personal and up close visit to Paul, knocking him off a high horse and blinding him at the same time. It was an introduction but Paul seems to guess at it anyway with his “Who are you, Lord?” in the book of Acts, asked from the flat out on the ground position.Still a Savior who beats death (actually whom God the Father raises because Jesus obeys God's plan to the end and back again) and whom God says-Well Done-justifying what was done and stamps the whole thing with everlasting life for the Conquering Prince of Glory. That is part of the Gospel Paul had preached to the Corinthians. His points were, the Gospel says He rose from the dead-so what are you believing in if you don't believe that part of the Gospel. If that's your problem than the whole thing you are claiming to believe is in vain.Then Paul says that we too have some share in Resurrection. 17 And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. 19 If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.20 But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive. 23 But each in turn: Christ, the firstfruits; then, when he comes, those who belong to him. 24 Then the end will come, when he hands over the kingdom to God the Father after he has destroyed all dominion, authority and power. 25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death. 27 For he “has put everything under his feet.”[c] Now when it says that “everything” has been put under him, it is clear that this does not include God himself, who put everything under Christ. 28 When he has done this, then the Son himself will be made subject to him who put everything under him, so that God may be all in all. Well, see, Paul was a lawyer, so he makes these arguments but somehow includes you and me in the Resurrection message-like Adam, (who lived a long time-but still died) we too being human die like Jesus also so like Jesus we will all be made alive and return with Him when he comes back to rule everything! This is what is called our great hope!But another and the last thing I will mention for the take away of Easter is what happens when we die-Because Paul says it is something like an acorn, it dies but something else is transformed and grows up of a different dimension entirely-an Oak Tree.
42 So will it be with the resurrection of the dead. The body that is sown is perishable, it is raised imperishable;43 it is sown in dishonor, it is raised in glory; it is sown in weakness, it is raised in power;44 it is sown a natural body, it is raised a spiritual body.
So we now have information about the afterlife we could not naturally know-and this kind of knowledge is called Revelation. There, a very little Theology for you. Our life in Christ after death which is now something hidden has been revealed. We die natural and are raised Supernatural! What we become is greater than what we were. It starts in humanity, includes Jesus, and gets changed for the better afterwards. Like a seed that dies in the ground but sprouts and grows taller than a Human being! And so that we don't get stuck on ourselves Paul also compares it to the stars-one differs from another in brightness, in Glory. One twinkles a little bit-just barely seen, while another becomes the glory of the skies, a Nova star, or like our Day Star-the Sun. And that is just what we see with our eyes. So we have to have faith that sees what our human eyes cannot. Trust in the greater because Jesus did the greater glorious thing. He lives again and so, my friends, shall we. It's all part of what you and I believe in Jesus and in following our Lord and Messiah.
How's that for a take-away!