Monday, March 16, 2009

Resurrection Power

Three years of hope lay shattered. In its place gloom and despair had crept in, rather stormed in. The exaltation of the promised king entering the capital was now a distant memory, even thought the crowds were shouting, "Hosanna! Hosanna!," just a few days before. The future looked to be so bright, but now confusion reigned. What would happen now? Would the authorities come in search of the followers of this so-called pariah? Would they come to erase every hint of the euphoria that had been on display for the past three years?

These thoughts must have entered the minds of those huddled in the small room. These men and women who had left homes and businesses to follow Jesus of Nazareth were dismayed, frightened, and confused. Had their hopes been misplaced? Was this all a frightening nightmare? How could things go so wrong, when so much had been promised?

Then it happened! Jesus, the one they thought to be lost, appeared, standing in their midst! "Peace be with you," he says. "Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have" (Luke 24). Seeing the doubt that lingers in the hearts of those present, Jesus takes a piece of fish and eats, showing them he is truly alive.

Doubts and fears give way to joy and exaltation. The hope, once shattered, is renewed. Jesus is alive!

A remarkable transformation took place within that group of disciples on that day. What had hours earlier been a group of frightened and distraught men and women, was now a gathering of excited and joyous people. Their Lord, the one they thought to be dead, was alive--Jesus had arisen! All of the energy and resource that they had devoted to this man had not been in vain--Jesus was alive! Their hope in him as the Messiah, thought to be destroyed by the Cross, was renewed--Jesus was alive!

The power of the Resurrection transformed fearful and dejected disciples into joyous men and women who went on to change their world for Christ. Has the power of the Resurrection affected you? Has the reality of Jesus' life changed your life?