On Responses to Jesus Resurrection

Thoughts over the past week have centered on the varied reactions to the Resurrection of Jesus.  There were distinct reactions from those who followed Jesus and there was a distinct reaction of those who rejected to the point of overseeing his crucifixion. Now for his followers there are the women, the eleven disciples, and others.  Regardless, the reactions generally were the same with variation based on individuals.  Each account involves some initial shock and disbelief. The women asked the angel where he took the body.  The disciples did not quickly believe the reports of the women. Peter and John who met the women on the road went to check it out for themselves.  Of course we all know Thomas’s famous doubt even when face to face with our risen Lord. But the fact is the resurrection was so wondrous, so contrary to the grief that the first response was that of shock, doubt, and denial. 

After the initial shock and wonder, soon came wonder, joy, and astonishment as well as confusion.  All they knew is Jesus who was dead was alive. He ate with them. He talked with them. They were able to touch wounds even so far as to place hands in his side.  They all went through a major mood swing; loss of hope, depression, uncertainly followed by pure joy, excitement, and wonder.  Jesus who was just killed was alive. Jesus was alive, fully alive.  His body did not show signs of the tremendous abuse he went through other than the wonders.  When you understand just how incredible the resurrection was, the doubt of Thomas is a bit clearer.  How could it really be Jesus, fully alive, fully functional after all he went through, yet this was the true fact.  Jesus was alive.  It is really hard to fully grasp the depth of response.  Think of your worst possible moment, the darkest time in your life.  Now imagine after that darkest moment you find out that it is reversed in an incredible way beyond expectation or understanding.  Such a reaction is but a taste of what Jesus followers experienced.

Now there are others who had a completely different response. Essentially they are those who conspired to see Jesus crucified.  They didn’t struggle with the feelings of the disciples, rather they went to self-protection and keeping their image their reality in place.  They protected their power and position.  They had to have a plausible story, for it would be hard to deny the resurrection testimonies without a plausible story. So what did they do?  They conspired further. They bribed the guards to put their lives at risk and say the body was stolen.  It is a lie still believed by many today.  The lie and the conspiracy was all about keeping power, for what they feared is if Jesus was truly from God and the story was true, they lose all power.  Everything they worked for and made decisions over was but nothing.  They wanted their power.  So they continued to protect themselves and paid for lies to be spread.  Over time the lies would grow as the supernatural events of the day pass from memory. The dead leaving graves became just a story quickly brushed off. 

So thinking this over, the question really is how does Jesus resurrection impact you?  Are there things you seek to maintain control and cannot surrender.  Do you believe God is capable of redeeming any who would come?  Because it is the power of the resurrection that bears witness to redemption, the empty tomb speaks.  Will you listen to the truth and let it touch your life and change you from the darkness surrounding to glorious and joyful unimagined change?  This is the resurrection.  This is God’s love.  This is what is true peace on earth, Jesus died and rose again so that all may live. Jesus is the only way, there is no other path.  There is nothing anywhere that truly has the demonstrated power of resurrection.

News Commentary: Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich arrested for corruption including sale of Senate seat.

According to the Chicago Tribune, Federal authorities arrested Rod Blagojevich and his aide John Harris for .  They apparently have charged them both with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and solicitation of bribery.  Even in a state such as Illinois with a long history of political corruption including the voting of the dead, this is a low day.  The federal authorities have a 78 page affidavit of evidence with lots of direct quotes based on evidence from wire tapping.

    When I read of this news, what comes to mind is here we have a foolish man.  He had a attained a position of influence, a position of power and what did allegedly do with it? Use it for his own gain by selling government contracts, state jobs, regulatory favors, and definitely sought gain from the pending open Senate seat.  Such actions fit the Biblical definitions of foolishness.  The book of Proverbs is filled with comparisons of the righteous and the foolish and wicked and paints the picture that the latter follows a path to destruction, the former a path to  reward and blessing.   Here we have a man who allegedly engaged in foolish actions to enrich himself at the expense of those he was seeking to serve. 

      And reading this, it is real easy to pontificate and judge what is clearly wrong. The obvious and blatant corruption and foolishness bring anger, wrath, judgement and triggers self-righteousness and pride.   Yet, in some ways each of us are similar. Each of us at some level have made choices for are own benefit and regardless of cost or consequence.  We all falter.  It is the obvious and apparent corruption and foolishness but it is the secret, hidden, and unexposed that  are even more dangerous. Yet, even all that is not exposed, will sooner or later be brought to into this come, either now or at judgement day.  But you know what, there is good news! No matter what anyone has done, God has grace.  The righteousness of God can become our own through the grace of the Cross and the sacrifice of Jesus.  Jesus took our sin so that we take on His righteousness.  The worst most vile evil is covered through Jesus by acceptance and a turning from self, it truly is that simple. So will you continue to walk the path of foolish, seeking after crooked gain, walking a path leading to destruction, or will you turn around and walk a different way?  The offer is always there, it is what we choose the path of wisdom or the path of the fool. The difference is clear as protrayed in Proverbs 9.   Please take time to think on this, the other option is to ignore it and pontificate on the evil corruption of fools.

 

Proverbs 9 (NIV) :

1 Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn out its seven pillars. 2 She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set her table. 3 She has sent out her maids, and she calls from the highest point of the city. 4 “Let all who are simple come in here!” she says to those who lack judgment. 5 “Come, eat my food and drink the wine I have mixed. 6 Leave your simple ways and you will live; walk in the way of understanding. 7 “Whoever corrects a mocker invites insult; whoever rebukes a wicked man incurs abuse. 8 Do not rebuke a mocker or he will hate you; rebuke a wise man and he will love you. 9 Instruct a wise man and he will be wiser still; teach a righteous man and he will add to his learning. 10 “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. 11 For through me your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. 12 If you are wise, your wisdom will reward you; if you are a mocker, you alone will suffer.”

13 The woman Folly is loud; she is undisciplined and without knowledge. 14 She sits at the door of her house, on a seat at the highest point of the city, 15 calling out to those who pass by, who go straight on their way. 16 “Let all who are simple come in here!” she says to those who lack judgment. 17 “Stolen water is sweet; food eaten in secret is delicious!” 18 But little do they know that the dead are there, that her guests are in the depths of the grave.