Sunday, April 24, 2011

Resurrection Sunday

What a gift. This morning, my husband and I planned to take an Easter morning walk. But, it’s too chilly out for me, even on this late-April Resurrection Sunday.

A couple thousand years ago some women went to Jesus’ tomb on an early morning walk. Luke 24, in fact, tells us it was “very early in the morning."

They got a surprise, however. The stone was rolled away. Praise God.

Praise wasn’t what they felt, however. Yet. They wondered what happened, and Mark 16 tells us they were alarmed when they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right, inside the tomb. He instructed them to spread the word that Jesus had risen, just as He said He would.

As the women hurried away, Jesus met them. They clasped His feet and worshiped Him. There’s the praise! For me, it sometimes takes His work in me over time to gather a heart of praise, too. Often, a passage of Scripture snaps me into the right way of thinking. Or sometimes a direct, obvious experience with my Risen Lord.

Jesus reiterated the instructions not to be afraid, a common directive in the Word. And He told the women to tell his brothers to go to Galilee and see Him there.

What a wonderful moment. For me, it may have been proof that He wasn’t some sort of mirage of grief. What a gift to Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Salome, Joanna and the others with them. No surprise that it all sounded like gibberish nonsense to the brothers in Christ. Except Peter, who ran to the tomb.

Then there’s the story in Luke of the Risen Jesus’ conversation with Cleopas and some others while walking on the road to Emmaus, also in Luke 24. It tells how they did not know it was their Lord, how Jesus explained the Scriptures about Himself, and how they finally recognized Him when they arrived at the village Emmaus, and He broke bread for them. Then they knew. Their eyes were opened, by the Holy Spirit. After all, spiritual things are spiritually discerned.  Then Jesus disappeared.

My God indeed works in mysterious ways. Sometimes, I have to catch up in my heart and mind to agree with Him about how He accomplishes His purpose. He, however, doesn’t need my approval or understanding. My God is great, perfect, pure, and He is love. 

His mystery intrigues me. I want this God, the true God. The One who is beyond my understanding. If I in my human mind here on Earth could fully understand, fully explain Him, would He really be much of a God? Would I really have much faith? Who am I, compared to Him?

I thank Him today that He works in mysterious ways. I thank Him for the mystery that Jesus chose to endure His cup of suffering — for me — because it was His Father’s will.  I am drawn to Him by His love, by His power over the grave. Who am I? I am His.

And as for that walk with my husband? We will do that in the sunshine and 65 degrees F God seems to be arranging for this afternoon. Another nice gift from the Risen Lord. He'll be walking with us, you know.

©Helene Bergren. All Rights Reserved.