Post date: Apr 27, 2017 7:1:57 PM
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! That is the good news we celebrate throughout the Easter season which goes on clear through May this year. The following illustration is going to fall way short of the risen Jesus, but the days immediately after Resurrection Sunday are sometimes called, “Holy laughter days”, since God gets the last laugh on death and the devil. So here goes.
Our cat Cally is a 3 legged Calico. Years ago, a neighbor gave her to us when they moved away. As a young cat Cally ran out into the road and had an MVA (motor vehicle accident). Her back leg was so badly broken, that the vet recommended removing it, so that is what we did. She has been doing fine for over 10 years on 3 legs. Granted, she does not move very fast and sleeps about 23 hours a day, but she is a cat.
Ever since her MVA, Cally has stayed out of the road (mostly), but sometimes she still thinks she has a back leg. Especially when she tries to scratch behind her ear with her back leg as cats like to do. She will lean her little head in and her little hip socket is going and she thinks she is scratching herself, but of course, really not. If we see her doing this, we will sometimes scratch behind her ear for her. She starts purring and still thinks she is doing the scratching, but it’s really us helping her do it. It’s a funny sight. Kyle and I often say that God gives us pets mostly for comic relief.
In Jesus’ appearances after Easter, he is helping his disciples to understand the resurrection. He is helping them to understand that though he really died, now he is truly alive. The disciples are having a hard time understanding how the dead can live again. In Matthew 28, the women leave the empty tomb with fear and great joy. Then the risen Jesus appears to the women and they take hold of his feet and worship him. In John 20 the risen Jesus goes right through a locked door (twice) to appear to his disciples. He invites them to see and touch the wounds in his hands and side. The risen Jesus is helping them to understand the resurrection.
In Luke 24, the risen Jesus walks all the way to Emmaus with 2 disciples explaining the scriptures to them. But they do not recognize him until he takes bread, blesses and breaks it and gives it to them at supper time. By doing something familiar with them, they finally recognize him as their teacher and master. Jesus is helping them to understand the resurrection. Later that night back in Jerusalem with the eleven, the risen Jesus appears again and stands among them, but they are terrified and think they see a ghost. Jesus invites them to touch him and he shows them the scars on his hands and feet. The disciples are still wondering and disbelieving so he eats a piece of broiled fish in front of them to prove he is no ghost. Jesus is helping his followers to understand the resurrection. Jesus is helping them to understand that the crucified one is the risen one and he is the way God forgives sin and gives new and everlasting life to his people.
In this Easter season, the risen Jesus helps us to understand and trust the resurrection with renewed minds. Our risen Savior Jesus helps us to understand that he has conquered sin, death and evil for us. Therefore, we are truly free to live unafraid lives. And the risen Jesus, who is with us always, is constantly prompting us to ask ourselves, “How can I share the good news and love of Jesus with my family, my community, my world and my neighbors in need?”
Christ is risen! He is risen indeed!