Christ Is Risen

Sunday, March 31

3-31By Andrew Bolton, Council of Twelve Apostles

But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

—Luke 24:12

Reading the entire text of today’s scripture (Luke 24:1–12) has great value. Verse 12 is how the story ends. Peter, acting on the testimony of devoted women disciples, goes to see fi the tomb is as empty as they say it is. He finds the tomb empty. All four gospels speak of an empty tomb. Where is Jesus? For some there are doubts about the resurrection experiences. Then in other there is joy and , for peter in today’s passage, amazement.

However, what do Jesus’ crucifixion and resurrection mean? I have pondered this for years. This is what I now understand.

Because of the crucifixion of Jesus the Gospels describe human evil in its full, brutal, and cruel reality. The religious establishment accused an innocent man, and the oppressive Roman Empire executed him. It is another story of human-rights violation, of an innocent victim who simply protested the rip-off of the poor in the temple system (Luke 19:45–48). The Gospels do not flinch in telling the truth about human evil. The Gospels take sinfulness seriously. Christianity, therefore, is not naïve about the human condition.

But that is not all. In the light of Easter morning, we witness the power of God to right a wrong, to bring healing for injustice, to turn the tables on evil. Jesus rises back to life. Good overcomes wickedness. Human history makes a decisive turn.

Of all people, Christians are the most realistic about human evil and at the same time the most hopeful about the kingdom where the worth of all people is celebrated and honored. That is the message of crucifixion Friday and resurrection Sunday for me.

And like Peter I am amazed.

Prayer for Peace
May we be amazed anew, God, at the healing power of the resurrection. May we be ever aware of the hope for the human condition because of Christ. May we share this hope and Christ’s peace with all humanity.

Spiritual Practice: the Ashes of God’s World
Hold an imaginary or real bowl of ashes in your hands. Let it represent the losses, sufferings, and injustices in the global community. Name things in the bowl that particularly grieve you. Pray a blessing on the Community of Christ as it responds to the ashes of God’s world with healing words and reconciling actions.

Peace Covenant:
Today, God, I will believe when I hear of the empty tomb.

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