In thinking about Jesus' resurrection in yesterday's sermon, I posed a question. I asked, in Jesus' voice, "Of all the things that I did that you might try to do, is reappearing to your friends after you've died the one you want to emulate?"
In the sermon it was a retort to our fictional question-and-answer with Jesus about how resurrection works. The truth is only God knows how resurrection works and hasn't chosen to explain it to us. Instead, the entire Biblical witness to the resurrection is that, one, it happened and, two, that means God was and is victorious over death. I think scripture is pointing us to something beyond the scientific questions we're prone to ask. I think scripture is saying, "Jesus was raised from the dead, now respond to that."
Possible responses include not believing and not understanding, but they also include trusting that since God did bring life from death, there's nothing God can't do. And if that's the case, then we can have courage to do the things that Jesus would have us do, bringing us back to the question posed in Jesus' voice - what of Jesus' many amazing acts in this life are we seeking to emulate.
It's only by God's power and grace that resurrection is a possibility for us. You and I can't cause resurrection. Our only contribution toward our resurrection is to believe that God can resurrect. We can, however, celebrate the overarching message of the Biblical text that God would want to resurrect because God loves us, longs to have a relationship with us, and is unwilling to let even death interfere with that. Trusting that to be the case, we can then go about our days showing God our love, being in relationship with God, and being free to serve in ways that emulate his Son's ministry, regardless of what seeks to interfere with that.
Here's to today's attempt to live as Jesus would have you,