Wednesday, April 11, 2018


The message of the Resurrection of Jesus in the light of his Crucifixion lies in an assurance that, in some mysterious way, the sin and suffering that so obviously mark and mar human life have been overcome. Despite appearances, evil does not triumph and death is not the end. But how? Those troubling appearances are no less common than they were. Can we really accept that their reality is ultimately temporary?

People have often found it tempting to seek reassurance in the hope of life in a world other than this one, where there is neither pain nor grief. From this perspective, the resurrected Christ is a prototype (so to speak) of our own heavenly existence,  Yet a striking sentence from the Epistle for this Sunday suggests otherwise."Beloved, we are God's children now; what we will be has not yet been revealed. What we do know is this: when he is revealed, we will be like him, for we will see him as he is." Whatever may be true about our future, the author says, the Resurrection assurance is that we are God's children now, and in the light of that assurance, we are enabled to live comfortably while still in ignorance of what we will be. What we do know is that, when all is revealed, we will not remain the same, but be transformed. We will become like Christ, by willingly sacrificing our egos to him when we are finally able see him as he really is.

Peter Preaching
This is a different and more inspiring vision of heaven, than the common idea of a continuation of this world minus its troubles. Importantly, it resonates better with the fears and doubts of the first disciples recorded in this week's passage from Luke. Jesus gives them tangible evidence of his reality, but only enough to satisfy them that he is not a ghostly apparition. The aim is to make them better enable to recognize the Messiah in him.

The passage from Acts is part of Peter's Pentecostal proclamation in the market place. Here too, however, the emphasis is on his present experience, not on speculation about the future. Faith in Jesus, he tells his audience, has made the ordinary Peter they "see and know" to be "strong" and "given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you". A remarkable transformation is what he has become now. It is what he is now that will enable him to face evil and death in the future when he confronts his own martyrdom. He has been reborn with a spiritual confidence in the present that is the gift of God in Christ.

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