Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The cross proves us wrong


 An excerpt from my message at Lakebay's Sunrise Service  



. . .Sometimes we’re like those powers and principalities, thinking that our comfort and prestige are worth any cost. Our world is filled with tyrants and thieves, but we’re all sinners alike. We run around chasing our own pleasure, amassing our little kingdoms, mistreating our friends and co-workers; we live by the world’s system, we lie and cheat and think we’re good enough to win in the end. And Jesus stands there Easter morning in victory, telling us we’re wrong – that the cross and resurrection mean something, they demand something of us; that we lay aside our schemes and plans and self-satisfied lives, and embrace instead the life offered by the Lamb who was slain.

Sometimes we’re more like the disciples. We’re angry. We feel let down. We think we’ve been defeated. We feel betrayed. Sometimes we look at our lives and hate what we see. We think it’s all pointless, all worthless. We see the troubles in the world and we want to go away and and hide. We live in fear of all the pain and trouble in the world, we decide maybe it’s just not worth going on. . .and Jesus shows up Easter morning and tells us we’re wrong. Jesus comes to us this morning with victory in his hands, a victory that is already won and therefore assured and guaranteed. Life is worth living, victory is ours because Jesus defeated evil, he defeated sorrow and pain and all who come against us; Jesus won the victory, and he invites us to share it with him.

And sometimes we’re like the women. We’re just sad. We’re broken. Our emotions are seared – we show up to the grave expecting the worst. No matter how beautiful the sunrise, deep down inside we know it all ends up in the grave. Some of us have felt the sting of losing loved ones to death. Some of us mourn deeply this morning. And yet. . .Easter tells us we’re wrong. Wrong to fear death, wrong to mourn without hope, wrong to expect the worst. The empty grave proves that Jesus was right, that his promise of life and victory and joy and hope and peace and healing and love all come true. He is justified. Our doubt and fear, our posturing and vain attempts at ordering our own lives all come crashing headlong into the cross. . .

and here stands Jesus, risen, alive, and offering life and victory to all of us.

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