Encountering the risen Christ

John 20_20

John 20:19-31

Isn’t it amazing how quickly Easter Sunday comes and goes? Oh, Easter isn’t over, just the hoopla that surrounds Easter Sunday. In too many respects, the world doesn’t quite understand Easter. The crowds may be gone, but the story hasn’t been fully told. That’s the difficulty faced by the church. The crowds have not heard the whole story. It is no wonder there is so much confusion with regards to Easter. But there was also plenty of confusion that first Easter day.

Women went to the tomb and found it empty. The great stone was rolled away but no one saw who did it. Angels gave the message that Jesus had been raised. As night fell, the disciples were afraid. They locked the doors out of fear that those who killed Jesus might come after them. Just then, Jesus stood among them very much alive.

Perhaps that’s number one problem so many people have at Easter. Perhaps so many come for the celebration, but skip the rest of the story because they are afraid that they might really have an encounter with the risen Lord.

That’s not such a far-fetched idea. All through his ministry, Jesus said that if any would follow him, they must first take up their cross. Jesus expected his followers to bear fruit for the kingdom, love God, worship him, and live for the sake of their neighbor. For so many today, doing these means a drastic change in the way life is lived.

Encountering Jesus means living on his terms, not ours. Encountering the risen Lord means we actually have to do something faithful. Meeting Jesus means acknowledging our sin and coming to repentance. It’s easy to see why so many do not want to hear the rest of the story. It’s easier to simply leave the empty tomb of Easter Sunday and get on with life on Monday. But tombs are meant for the dead, and Jesus is alive.

Jesus left behind what belongs in the tomb; the darkness of sin, death and the devil. The risen Christ brought with him light, life and the peace of God. Ours is to share the entire story so that others may come to believe.

Give me your peace, O Lord, that I may share your Gospel. Amen.

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