Easter 2016

Everyone who proclaims the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead says one thing.
John’s Gospel tells us that it was Mary Magdalene who was first to proclaim it when she ran to tell Jesus’ disciples the Good News.  What she said was, “I have seen the Lord!”  Later that night, the disciples would tell Thomas the same thing.  Thomas had not been there when Jesus appeared to them, but when he returned they shared the Good News…“We have seen the Lord!” Thomas didn’t believe them.  He said he would not believe unless he saw for himself.  One week later, he did.
The Gospels of Matthew and Mark say that when the women went to the tomb on Easter morning an angel met them with a message…
“Do not be afraid; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. Lo, I have told you.” Matthew reports that as the women ran from the tomb, Jesus met them, they saw him with their own eyes, they worshiped him, and Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”  When the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them, they saw him there.  Finally, Luke’s Gospel says that the disciples were commanded to open their eyes and see the Risen Lord present in their midst, “See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself!”
Horao is a Greek word. It means to see with the eyes, to see with the mind, to Behold, to perceive, to know absolutely.   It’s a common word used many, many times in the New Testament and is in no way unusual.  What is unusual is that the one place we always find the word, to See, to Behold, to know absolutely… is on Easter.  Resurrection life is something we can see… it is the experience of seeing someone again, in all of their precious particularity, on the far side of the grave. So, who is it that you would love to see again…?  It’s unfair to ask anyone to come up with just one name… but you do have to start somewhere.
Jerry Root is a professor at Wheaton College… he answered that question this way: “When I was in high school I had a friend named Dave. He was the kind of kid everyone liked. He was cool and athletic. He was the star of the volleyball team. The girls loved his good looks. Everyone loved how crazy-funny he was. And Dave loved God. A lot. One day during our junior year, Dave didn’t show up for astronomy class. I found out very quickly that Dave was seriously sick. Over the next few months I watched as he got worse. He couldn’t walk and ended up in a wheelchair. Then he had trouble holding his head up or even speaking clearly. We found out he had a brain tumor. There was nothing the doctors could do for him. Dave got worse and worse. Before the end of our senior year of high school, Dave died. None of us could believe it happened. I would like to see my friend again. I’d like to see the joy on Dave’s face when he played volleyball. I’d like to see him whole again. Strong, athletic and crazy-funny.  I believe I will.”
And I believe it too…  Because, in fact, Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who die.  As in Adam all die… So also in Christ shall all be made alive!  Jesus has been raised from the dead and he has won the victory over death for you and for me and for all those whom we love and for Dave and for all the Dave’s all over the world… for all time.  Death is swallowed up in Victory!  Thanks be to God who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!
Have A Blessed Easter,
Pastor Mark