Sunday, April 12, 2009

From the dead

What a morning we had this morning. The sun came up on cue over the Atlantic, as we dug our feet in the sand and sang "Celebrate Jesus, Celebrate!" with several hundred other Christians. "Happy Easter!" "He is risen indeed!"

This morning's service had everything you'd expect on Easter: smiling faces, friendly people, snappy clothes and the expected references to mystery and magic, caterpillars and butterflies. "The Dancing Angels" made my day. I didn't think it would be possible to get six 8 year old BOYS to do synchronized dancing and let themselves be called, "The Dancing Angels." But, there they were. Easter is about impossible things.

The most impossible part of Easter is its essence, the distance Jesus traveled on that morning. He went from dead to alive. There is no greater distance than this. You can long jump the Grand Canyon sooner than you can get from completely dead to fully alive. Impossible. Yet, as the Monkeys sang, I'm a believer.

From the dead. That is where Jesus was raised from on Easter. "He is risen...FROM THE DEAD." If you accept Mark Twain's principle, then you have to accept the possibility that the resurrection of Jesus could be true and real. Mark Twain (who had a cat named "Satan") said, "Truth is stranger than fiction. Fiction has to stick to the possibilities. Truth doesn't." The resurrection is impossible, but that doesn't mean it didn't happen. If there is a God, then resurrection is light lifting for His little finger.

For the dead. All around us are walking wounded people who feel like the living dead. An affair smashed their marriage. Cancer snatched their friend. A drunk driver destroyed their child. Their company laid them off, which led to foreclosure seizing their house, which ended in bankruptcy bouncing all their checks. Forget about retirement--where is next month's rent coming from? They feel helpless and hopeless, lost and alone, perplexed and bewildered, thrashing about for something, somewhere, somehow. They feel knocked down, wiped out, flat on their backs. For them, there is One who stood up after being knocked down as down as down gets.

For those who feel like dying, Jesus is their man. He rose from the dead, for the dying. There is no problem too big. If He can rise from the dead, he can provide next month's rent, heal a broken heart, mend shattered dreams and provide a future and a hope. HOw do you get His help? You simply ask for it: "Jesus, please help." He doesn't need a lot of words, and you don't need to be good to ask.

From the dead, for the dead. Yep, I'm a believer that Jesus is risen, is alive and has the strength to help. All I have to do is ask.

Easter 2009