Many churches throughout the world use a Bible reading schedule called a "lectionary." It's just a fancy word meaning "selected readings." Posts like this reflect on the readings for an upcoming Sunday or other Church holiday, as found in the three-year lectionary.
Our Gospel this week points out the message of the resurrection. It’s decidedly one of the most controversial issues of Christianity. Or at least it should be.
We notice that the first witnesses to the resurrection were women who had come to make sure all the elements of an appropriate burial were completed. They found that the tomb was open and that Jesus was not there. The reason was given to them by an angelic appearance. These first witnesses, we should remember, would not have been considered qualified to give testimony in court. But God in his grace chose them to be the first to give testimony to his resurrection. He speaks to and through even those who would otherwise be ignored.
The angelic message reminded the women of what Jesus had already said. Despite the fact that Jesus had told his followers of his death, burial, and resurrection several times, they were unable to grasp the idea and had neglected it. With Jesus’ death, their hope also died. But with Jesus’ life, their hope could come to life again. Christianity is all about the resurrection of the dead. We who believe in Jesus, though we die, yet we will live. He shows himself to be the resurrection and the life. And he does exactly what he promised. Jesus promised many other things as well. We do well if we believe he will keep those promises also.
Some of those people to whom the women reported, “to the eleven and to all the rest,” believed their report. Others thought it was some sort of nonsense. Yet over the forty days to follow, they saw Jesus with their own eyes, risen from the dead. Our first reaction to the Gospel may be negative. Yet given time and exploration, we find that the claims of the resurrection are true. Jesus is the Lord of resurrection.
Christianity is the only major world religion based on an actual historical event and on definitive truth claims. The event of the resurrection and the truth claims of Jesus, not our history, not any moral stance, not any testimony about how we feel in Christ should run the show. Christianity is built on the truth of God, just as real today as it was to those women at the tomb.
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