Today’s Reading: “I believe in God, The Father Almighty, Creator of heaven and earth. I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord. Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary. Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended to the dead. On the third day, He rose again.”
Easter Sunday. Pre-dawn in a burial cave just outside the walls of Jerusalem. A.D. 33.
Something astounding is happening here. But from reading all four Gospel narratives, no one, at this point in time, seems to be sure on exactly what. It is clear, from Matthew’s writings, that a few folks are starting to get it. (Read Matthew 28: verses 1-10) Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jesus, seem to be the first to hear the strange news that Jesus has risen from the dead. But as we review the other Gospel accounts, we find that not everyone is so astute to this amazing burst of life that is happening amongst the tombs where only the dead are buried.
But here’s the truth.
While most of the world was sleeping and even His most loyal disciples were hunkered away in hiding, God, the Father, was busy transforming His universe through the powerful resurrection of His only Son, Jesus of Nazareth. And apparently, only a couple of early-rising mourners along with a handful of Roman soldiers were there to experience it. And according to Matthew, even they kept their eyes closed, frozen in fear as their world rocked and rolled underneath their feet.
Suddenly an angel of light appears. And just as it was in Bethlehem thirty-three years and nine-months earlier, this angel once again has exciting news to share with a Mary, and her other friend, Mary.
Fear not. The story isn’t over. As a matter of fact, the real story is just beginning! The deeper truth is finally here. The Son of God, who was given so that the whole world might have joy, is no longer dead, but has risen from the grave, just as He told you He was going to be!
I love the way Eugene Peterson, author of The Message Bible, transliterates this passage in Matthew’s gospel…
“He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see Him there. That’s the message.” (Matthew 28: 6-7 MsgB)
Yup. That’s The Message.
The risen Christ, Jesus of Nazareth, is alive and well and has gone on ahead of us!
And here’s the really good news…
He will meet up with us again at the end of this age! Yes, Jesus of Nazareth will be there waiting for all of us when we arrive. And, as we discussed last time, we’ll all see Him there and then.
And every knee will bow to the One and Only. The Risen Christ. The Now and Forever Savior. The Alpha and Omega. Amen and amen.
Now that makes for one pretty exciting Message, don’t you think?
My prayer: Jesus, Your resurrection from the dead is still this world’s best message we could ever hear! Forgive me, Father, when I would ever grow tired or complacent with this important, world-transforming message. You are, indeed, risen from the dead, and that, Lord Jesus, changes everything! For Your name’s sake. Amen.
My questions to ponder: How have I allowed the freshness of this Gospel Good News to become dry or crusty in my life? What steps do I need to take in my own life to re-fresh and re-new the importance of this resurrection story so that it becomes the greatest message for me, my family, and my friends?
So, what are you experiencing today as we are Contemplating The Creed?
Over a seven-week period, you and I will take a deeper look at The Apostles Creed. In order to keep all the blog sessions organized, we suggest you bookmark our Contemplating the Creed home page for ease of use.
If you like what you’re reading, might we suggest you share this page with others!