He spoke - but they weren't listening
Resurrection Sunday! Selah...Pause. Think. About. It.This is the day of the Christian's joy. It's our reason to celebrate. Death waged war against the Creator of the Universe and lost. How cool is that?
Have you thought about that word--resurrection? In its verb form it means to "rise again". The dictionary also defines it as revitalization or revival of something.
In the Christian community the word's meaning can almost get lost for its continual use. We tend to just assume all people understand its significance. We can forget how much resurrection means to the Christian faith.
If Jesus had not risen again after his horrific, tortuous death--if he had remained buried in a borrowed tomb--there would have been no purpose in His coming to earth. Without Easter, Christmas holds no meaning. And Passover would still be waiting its eternal fulfillment.
I suspect that when Jesus explained his coming death to his disciples, they weren't putting the pieces together. Scripture doesn't tell us whether or not Jesus told them how his death and resurrection would fulfill so many of the prophets predictions. Or how the feasts they celebrated were symbolic of the future, not just traditional remembrances of the past.
Jesus told them what they could accept, but even then they weren't really listening. Peter rebuked him for saying He was going to Jerusalem to die. That wasn't the picture of Messiah the twelve had in mind. They were looking for a political savior. One to free them from earthly oppression.
They weren't really hearing Him when He talked about His dying and rising again.
It's so easy to only hear what we want to hear, isn't it?
Interestingly enough though, the Bible records that some people were listening. They weren't the ones with the power or even the respect the disciples carried. They wouldn't be considered leaders in their community or synagogue. They were women.
While the disciples were busy worrying about who would be greatest in the kingdom or wondering when Jesus was going to oust Rome, a woman anointed His feet with precious oil for burial. She was listening when Jesus said he’d come to earth to die, and she believed.
Why was it so hard for some to pay attention and not others?
I think it all goes back to listening. Listening with our hearts, not just our ears.
It wasn't like Jesus hadn't tried to tell them. He'd given them plenty of time and teaching in the three years of his public ministry. He showed them what God was like and yet even then they questioned Him. Philip asked Jesus to show them the Father and that would be enough for them. They couldn't see what was right in front of them--that Christ and His Father were one.
It wasn't until much later, after Jesus ascended into heaven that they understood how He had fulfilled Passover by becoming the paschal lamb. His death ripped open the great divide between God and humanity. The blood that covered the doorposts and lintels of the Israelite homes in Egypt was only a symbol of the blood of countless sacrifices that came every year on the Day of Atonement. Jesus' death as the final perfect Lamb of God fulfilled at least these two feasts, and created a new covenant to replace the old.
But until the resurrection the disciples were only thinking of an earthly kingdom and they wanted front and center access to it. They wanted to rule with Christ then and there. They weren't thinking deeply enough to recognize the suffering savior. Their savior could not die.
Luke 24:8 says that when the angels told the women that Jesus had arisen from the dead, “they remembered His words”. They’d been paying attention as they followed Him from place to place. They weren’t concerned about what Jesus could do for Israel’s politics or how He might deal with their oppressors or how great they might be in His coming kingdom. Each one of those women had a personal relationship with Him because of how He had touched their lives.
Sometimes we get so used to hearing the words, or even a single word, like resurrection, and we fail to ponder the depth of meaning. Resurrection, to rise again, to cause revival of something--wouldn't the best kind of Easter be a revival of our faith? Maybe we've wandered from the words of Christ because we failed to let them touch us in the place that changes us.
Jesus didn't come just to be a martyr for a cause. He came to defeat an enemy that that held us in a death grip we couldn't break.
A risen Savior has the power to revive anything. In the quiet, if we are listening, we can hear Him whisper our name. Because of the cross, because of His amazing love and grace, He calls out to any who are paying attention and are willing to listen.
The women of His day listened when He spoke. And they believed Him.
#livegrace #stopdoubtingandbelieve #resurrectionsunday #heisrisenindeed