Christ is risen!

Christ is risen!


When Jesus asked His Disciples, “Who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  The other Disciples agreed, knowing this could cause them no end of trouble.


If we look for an example of the sorts of hostilities and risks the Disciples faced, we merely have to look at people living under the Jihadist governments in the Middle East in the present day. 

Add to this the fast that Israel was occupied by Roman forces, we may wonder what it was that motivated them to follow any person claiming to be the Christ when common sense would suggest keeping a low profile. 

Attempts to analyze the Disciples’ thoughts about Jesus may be futile; but I think it’s safe to say, these men genuinely wanted a relationship with God.  They may have felt entitled, because they were Jews, God’s “Chosen” people.  They were doubtless nationalistic, too, and hated their Roman occupiers.  They anticipated the arrival of the Christ, the Messiah, who would be a conquering King that would reestablish Israel as the only nation; but this did not accurately describe Jesus or His teachings.

Still, there were the incredible miracles.  Anyone who could heal the sick and injured, raise the dead, feed thousands with a few scraps of food, walk on water—a king with these powers would be invincible!  At least, this is what Judas Iscariot was thinking.  I believe Judas’ betrayal of Jesus was intended to force Jesus’ hand.  Judas sold out Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.  He led the authorities to the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus was staying with His Disciples.  Tensions arose, and there was trouble, but Jesus did nothing!  He did not summon any angels, there was no lightening from heaven, the ground did not open and swallow the oppressors.  Jesus did nothing!  By midafternoon the next day, Jesus would be dead, but you know the story.

Incidentally, the church was dead, too.  Can you imagine how disillusioned the Disciples and all the other followers of Jesus must have felt?  Jesus was not the Messiah, he was just a man.  He was just a man, who was now dead and rotting in a donated tomb.  The Disciples were scared and hiding.  As for Judas Iscariot, he was so upset by this turn of events that he committed suicide.

The Sunday after Jesus’ crucifixion, some ladies went to the garden tomb to finish the embalming of Jesus’ body; but you know this story, too, summed up with words, “Christ is risen!”

Whatever else we get from the Easter season, I hope the realization that Christians serve a living God is at the top of the list.  This is the main thing.  And it’s a lot more important than chocolate bunnies and candy eggs will ever be.

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