Tales from the Trail: #8 So It Isn’t Finished

Scripure Reading: Mark 28:1-10 or Luke 24:1-12
Prayer: Easter Prayer
It was a difficult weekend for Jesus’ closest friends and followers.  They had fully trusted in Jesus.  They believed, with most of their hearts, that he was the Messiah, the chosen one who would deliver them from the Roman Empire.  To them, death meant failure.  You can’t overthrow Caesar from the cemetery.

But let’s also not forget that the death of Jesus was a personal loss for his inner circle.  They didn’t just lose a fearless leader, they lost a loving friend.  They wept for Him because He had wept with them.

Resurrection is a central concept for Christianity.  Today, we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus and the promise that He is the “First fruit from the grave.”  We rejoice in this ultimate victory over sin, death and the grave.  We have unquenchable hope because we believe that a God who can overcome death can also overcome the fallen nature of this world.  One day, we believe, everything on Earth will be renewed.  Eventually, everything will be “set to rights” and our world will be as it should.  As it was designed and intended.

We celebrate the failure of the finality of death.  We mourn when we lose loved ones, but we don’t mourn like those who have no hope.  When we lose one near and dear to us, we know that things in this life will never be the same.  However, we believe that the dead in Christ will rise and those who are living will meet them in the air.  First fruits implies more fruits.  The New Testament teaches us that all who allow themselves to be in Christ in life, will live together in Him beyond death.

The friends of Jesus came looking for His body on Sunday morning, but it was gone.  At first they assumed the worst, not the best.  They assumed this to be the work of grave robbers seeking riches or wishing to discredit or, even worse, desecrate the body of their fallen leader.
 It took Jesus appearing to them and eventually the Holy Spirit filling them with comprehension and understanding of what this all really meant.

We relate to the confusion felt by Jesus’ followers as we think of the losses we experience in this life.  For us today, failure often feels like death.   Disasters, natural ones and the ones caused by ourselves and other humans, alter the world that we know.  And for many around the globe, and especially here in Cookeville, the world has been forever changed over the past six weeks.
How does Resurrection speak to us as we experience loss professionally and financially?  What does Easter have to say to us as we mourn the loss of precious people and close knit community?  How does an Empty Tomb speak to an empty heart?

Softly.  Tenderly.  Hopefully.

The empty tomb doesn’t prevent us from looking back, but it reminds us that our future won’t be found there.  The rolled away stone does not indicate the return of the life as we knew it.  It gives us hope that God is doing a new thing.  It wasn’t God who caused that disruption in your life, but it is God who will walk with you as you put the pieces of this new puzzle together.  First and foremost, Genesis 1 teaches us that YHWH is a God of order, not disorder.

As we announce an Empty Tomb.  As we proclaim a Risen Jesus.  As we Celebrate the Resurrection.  May the promise of Easter comfort and fill the empty caverns in our hearts.  Joy comes in the morning.


Click Here to see the original post with pictures from past Resurrection Trail events.

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