Sunday, April 20, 2014

Jesus' Resurrection: A Strange Proof

Showing off my 12 year old drawing skillz.
When you begin reading the accounts of the first Easter morning, and begin trying to consider what Christians say changed the entire future of humanity, you run across an almost disheartening fact.

Jesus treats it so casually.

Publicly humiliated, the beaten nearly to death and then hung on a cross until his heart gave out--physically and spiritually--you would think he'd like a bit more fanfare. Like "HEY, HEY - WHO'S YOUR DADDY NOW?!! Hey, where's that Pontius Pilate guy - I'd like to have a word with him! Oh - and Caiaphas too! In fact,  bring me the entire Sanhedrin!"

My former pastor, Rev. Sandy Willson of Second Presbyterian Church in Memphis pointed this out to us about 18 years ago. He said that would be our human response--to go after our enemies.

Not Jesus. He went after His friends. He did so with a gentleness and wit that was, in my imagination, perhaps a more effective proof of His divine nature and that he had indeed conquered death.

Here are just some of the points I wish to share today.

1) Jesus was dead for just about 40 hours. I think He did not want everyone to grieve too much. He was dead just long enough to fulfill scripture. Even though Mary rose up so early it was still dark, she did not get a chance to see His dead body. He got up before her.

2) Contrary to popular imagination and some paintings, the angel did not roll away the stone to let Him out. Jesus was already gone. The angel rolled away the stone because God sent an angel to show grief-stricken women their beloved Savior was risen.

3) Likewise, Jesus was sweet enough to not SCARE Mary. He politely asked her what was she looking for? Then He said [effectively], "Hey, honey![Mary!]" [She recognized the way He spoke her name, clearly.]

4) Jesus also kept it very low key and light when dealing with His disciples: he walked with some, just chatting, correcting them on scripture, had dinner, made breakfast after helping them get all the fish they could deal with, etc. Each time He downplays the supernatural, BECAUSE it is obvious and terrifying. There is a reason He says "Peace be with you!" and it ain't because He's Lutheran. ;)

The point I am making is nothing proves to me better than these insignificant social details, that we have been given accurate accounts of His resurrection.

Because of Jesus' casual, confident, loving, playful, well-that's-over-with attitude, my faith has been revived.

He's so Boss and so much the Man Who Can Handle Your Mess, that He's probably grinning the entire time!

And why shouldn't He, this day? He's won.

The universe. Death. Life, Heaven. Hell. You. Me.

You ever think of a resurrected god saying "Got something to eat?"

His casualness is a strange proof, I admit. But as I get older, it almost lends more credibility than factual apologetics.

May you see His crazy, smiling love for you this Easter.

Amen.

p.s. In a reversal of style, I put here a geek example of what I am expressing.

Brandon Lee in The Crow, rises from the dead to avenge the murder of his fiance' and himself. But when friendly and sympathetic cop Officer Albrecht is visited by Eric Draven, Eric hands him a beer and joins him with a cigarette.

Jesus asked for some fish from his friends, but said nothing to his opponents after His resurrection. You can figure out what that means, can't you?



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