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Easter Day

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Easter is both about Jesus and about us. First of all, the Resurrection is about Jesus. As an historical event, it’s both a powerful sign of who Jesus is, and it’s also a vindication of Jesus’ life, his teachings, and his death. Easter shows the life of Jesus to be the way of life for all creation, and it proclaims that nothing is more powerful than that life. All of that is about Jesus. At the same time, Easter is about us. It’s about what Jesus is doing right now, and right here, for each and every one of us.

This is who we are and where we stand, exactly and precisely, this Easter morning. Christ is risen, and he has reached out with wounded hands, and grasped you by the hand, and he is even at this moment drawing you toward himself, and toward new life with him. This is what’s happening now. This is why we’re here today.

 The first thing that our eyes need to be fixed on Jesus if we are going anywhere. If our attention is on ourselves, or if it’s back on whatever our past might happen to be, or if it’s on the scenery around us, then more than likely we’ll stay right where we are. If we look for life and direction and meaning anywhere but at the risen Lord—then our hearts will be divided, and our energy will be scattered, and our rising will be slow indeed. Somehow, the face of Jesus needs to fill our vision and capture our will—else we will be stuck. That’s the first thing.

The second is that Jesus needs us to help. The Lord has grasped us—that is a gift. He is drawing us to him, and to his life—that is fact. There is nothing we have to do to make any of this happen. It’s going on right now. But we can help. We can join our efforts to his effort. We can say “yes” to the hand that holds us and the arm that draws us forward. Remember, Jesus will live for us and he will die for us; he will call us, and he will grasp us; he will lead us away from the familiar and toward all sorts of new possibilities. He will make all manner of things possible and rich with joy. But he will not coerce us—he will not force us. Real love, mature love, never coerces, it never forces. It invites.

So, we can consent. We can cooperate. we can both focus our attention and direct our behaviour toward accepting the offer being made, the hand being extended. What we do, our behaviour, can be in harmony with what Jesus is doing; our efforts can be joined with his.

This is not automatic. There are all sorts of ways and reasons to resist the resurrection grasp and the upward tug of the risen Lord. We may be complacent, we may be afraid, we may be content, we may be so self-absorbed, or so absorbed with things, or with some one thing, that we can see no farther than that. That may be happening to us; we may be resisting. We may well need to deal with one form of this or another.

And while that may be where we are, it isn’t where Jesus is. Jesus is here. Jesus is—this instant—standing on the broken gates of death and hell and wrapping his hands around you and beginning to lift you away from the old life of brokenness and into new life with him. That’s where Jesus is right now. That’s what Easter is about this very instant. That’s what this day is about. That’s what is most important. That’s the vision that we are here to comprehend, and to celebrate, and to make our own. The rest will follow. But this comes first. He is drawing us to himself.


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