“Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have come to believe.” John 20:29b
Easter is a Rebellion. Our believing in the Resurrection is a rebellion. It’s a rebellion by us and God Godself against our petty and corrupt lives, our fear-filled world. Easter is God’s rebellion against us making God into our own mean, vindictive, fear-filled images. It’s a rebellion against giving up.
God raised Jesus of Nazareth from the dead to show us that our lives, even Our lives, are eternal, and go beyond death and pettiness and corruption, beyond the worry about what we should do, and what others say or think about us, to the Resurrection Truth that our lives are meant to be lived fully in each moment, with joy and assurance and love and the hope of being together and enjoying the world in which we live, because He died and rose for us, surrounding us with His grace, love and forgiveness.
Raising Jesus Christ from the dead is God’s ultimate rebellion against our worry and blame – against our fears and all hatred – against corruptible power and petty squabbles. God rebelled by raising Jesus to make manifest Godself in Our Lord and Our God, the Christ.
Following in God’s footsteps, as it were – acknowledging God’s truth and power by loving all one-anothers there are of us, living within God’s government, on God’s land and under God’s law, is the only worthy, righteous and do-able rebellion there is. God ordained this at the Resurrection. We must show we believe tho’ we have not seen, by living as tho’ we are Already and Really in God’s Kingdom.
Yes, Easter is God’s own rebellion against us putting God in a box – against making God in our soiled image. God will have none of it. God says, “Look, here, people! I am in charge! I imagine and live out, through you, my plans and my purpose. I am not bound by your conventions, your rules, your short-sighted dreams! I am not bound by your petty squabbles and your holier-than-thou attitudes! I am not bound by your held back emotions or your dashed hopes or the shattered dreams of your lives! I am not bound by your youth, your aging nor your successes or sicknesses! And neither are you!”
When God rebelled against our petty and corrupted lives by raising One from the dead whom we had called dead, God showed that we too, can rise above this corruptible flesh and our pettily managed lives to be the totality of who God made each one of us to be. This truth began the church. The ones who saw Jesus raised from the dead were so changed by His Resurrection, that they manifested God’s healing power, and changed the world. As United Methodists, we are called to do that too: “To make Disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.” And when we believe and live like we believe, we do.
Remember who we are: God’s people, believers that God was made manifest in Christ Jesus, our Lord, and that we now live in the power of the Holy Spirit! Let us not demean our belief in Christ by fearing some official or bureaucrat, some rule or tradition. Let us live in awe only of God, knowing by our belief, that all others are simply our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers, our sons and daughters.
Let me, O God, follow Your vision for the world. Let me, O God, live into Your reality – Your garden of green hills and fertile plains – Your world of loving and helping one another – Your city of joyful, healthy people and of crystalline streams flowing from the throne of the Lamb – Your Kingdom on earth as it is in heaven. Let me rebel against the smallness and corruption of this world, and live in Your world. Let me be raised with Jesus, and live like I believe He Lived, Died and was Resurrected, for me and for all the world. Amen.
Blessings, Pastor Bethany