Jesus’ Resurrection: It really shakes things up

John Hatcher's picture

Easter is a celebration. But more than that, it is an inauguration of new life and a new lifestyle. The one and only reason we celebrate Easter is that the dead and buried Jesus of Nazareth was raised from the tomb.

Because Jesus was raised, everything he said and did takes on increased importance. Resurrection validated everything about Jesus. He may have been born in a small bread basket of a town and he may have been reared in nowhere Nazareth that had a reputation of producing nobodies. But when he was raised from the dead, he became the centerfold of history.

It was an itinerant teacher who said something like “You have heard that you should love your neighbor and hate your enemy. But I say to you that you should love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you.” Wow! But no big deal, some may have thought, because the teacher teaching such stuff is from nowhere.

Before long this “new life” teacher got into big trouble with everyone who was important. He didn’t own a home. He never got married. Never earned a degree nor was he ever officially recognized as a teacher by any seminary. He never got on TV. Never wrote a book or sold a book that he claimed he wrote. But, my goodness, he was such a threat to the folks at the temple and town hall that they all got together and had an old fashioned crucifixion with preliminary beating and a theatrical crowning with thorns.

Finally, Pilate and Caiaphas (the high priest) could sleep well Friday night. The deed got done. The dude was in the tomb. Life could return to being stuck in a rut.

But, lo and behold, that first day of the week came. There was a whole lot of shaking taking place in cemetery. Soldiers were knocked to the ground. A huge stone was rolled away. And Jesus was raised from the dead but to an entirely different kind of body.

Now, what this Nazarene said and did was the talk of the town. His teachings no longer could be sloughed off as good suggestions perhaps, but now what he said was the new way to live: loving your enemies; praying for those who were slapping you around. No more, eye for eye and tooth for tooth. A new era in human relationships had dawned on the morning of his resurrection.

Easter portrays itself as a happy time. Families come together for feasts. Children wear their prettiest of their wardrobe. Churches welcome guests in numbers like no day of the year. Why? Jesus, in his resurrection, demonstrated that his way of relationships was the right way and only way approved. His way of relationships was, and is loving, kind, generous, compassionate and on and on.

The old saying was if you could keep Christmas one day, why not all the other days. Easter, with its resurrection power, means we can live it up every day of our lives. Do you sense or feel resurrection power in the air even here in Fayette?

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