Resurrection Grace

Week of Prayer #27
The Resurrection of Jesus Christ

The joy of spring wildflowers is the same joy of resurrection life!

I have been thinking about the grace that was extended to humanity in the resurrection. There is no greater display of grace than what was extended to us when Jesus rose from the dead returning to the people who had so profoundly rejected Him.

Judas betrayed Jesus

Peter denied Jesus

The disciples deserted Jesus

The religious leaders scoffed at Jesus’ identity

The political establishment condemned Jesus

The soldiers mocked Jesus

The crowd taunted Jesus

Each of these situations are more than just the particular players in the passion of Jesus. They represent something of our shared humanity. This is what we are like! This what we do to one another. This is what we do to people who are upsetting the way the system works. It is the tragedy of the human condition at its worst. And at some point we have all played a part in one or more of these expressions. 

And Jesus rose, returning to the very people who had done this. 

Jesus reprimanded the disciples for their unbelief as they heard from the women that He was not in the tomb, but had risen from the dead. He told them this was going to happen. He told them before it happened so that they would believe when it did happen. The women told them that it did happen. But they did not believe it. 

Or maybe they were not able to believe it. 

I have wondered if the disciples’ abandonment of Jesus created such a shame for them that they were not able to believe it. “If Jesus has risen from the dead, that means we have to face our sin!” 

Jesus’ resurrection is a head on collision with our shame.

It is the grace of the resurrection that heals our shame. 

This healing is demonstrated in the interaction between Peter and Jesus on the shore following a night of futile fishing. Peter uniquely feels his failure, who had so confidently asserted his allegiance to Jesus even unto death. He attempts to return to his former life that he knew. He seeks what is comfortable in the midst of his failure. 

But Jesus has none of this. Resurrection grace comes plowing into Peter with four simple words:

Do you love Me?

Yes, Lord, You know that I love you. 

Do you love Me?

Yes, Lord, You know that I love you. 

Do you love Me?

Yes, Lord, You know that I love you. 

Resurrection grace wants to know only one thing, and it comes to every player in the passion drama…

Do you love Me?

Resurrection grace stands boldly before us. As we hang our heads in the face of this love, we feel our failure and our shame. 

Resurrection grace says, “Peace be with you.”

Resurrection grace says, “I am with you always.”

Resurrection grace says, “Go and make disciples.”

Resurrection grace just wants to know, “Do you love Me?”

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