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May 2024

Pastor’s Perspective – May 2024

Would you come back?

There is a mystery in the resurrection story of Jesus.  A mystery that few of us ever comprehend.

Once we get our minds around the ‘fact’ of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we often then go about trying to prove to other people the truth of the event.  We look at the various appearances of Jesus, at the garden by the tomb, in the Upper Room, on the road to Emmaus, and at the Sea of Galilee, and we marvel at what they tell us about His resurrection. He was physical yet He seemed to be able to move through walls; He still bore the scars of the crucifixion in His resurrected body; He ate with the disciples and continued to call people to repentance.

From these narratives we make certain assertions about the eternal body or our own resurrection bodies. We will be corporeal.  We will still enjoy food and table talk.  Is there fishing in heaven?  Will our wounds heal?

All of these questions inevitably circle back to the central concern over what will happen to us.  Like Peter we quickly get past the three questions that Jesus asks Him and focus on the real concern, “will He (the disciple that Jesus loved) die like I will?”

“Do you love me, Peter?”

“Sure, I like you Jesus, but tell me more about what happens behind the curtain of death.”

So many of the questions concerning Jesus’ resurrection focus on our own eternal destiny, but the one question that haunts me to this day is, “Why did He come back to us?”

Quite honestly, if I were Jesus, I would have gone to heaven and stayed there.  Most of us look forward to taking our rest and enjoying the fruits of our labors, eager to move beyond the people and the work that we endure in our life and work.

Jesus, however, comes back to us.

Whenever I ponder this I am reminded of the distinct character of God, and how different God’s love is from our understanding of love and care.  God’s character, revealed in the life, death and yes even in the resurrection of Jesus, is infused with agape love.  God does nothing without thinking of others.  God does not seek rest alone, or to prove a point to those who disbelieve.  God in Jesus Christ simply wants to show faith, hope, and love to the world.  To let us know that everything is going to be alright.  To show us that He was telling us the truth.  To reveal to us the pearl of great price.  To show us that our faith and hope will be rewarded not because we can earn God’s favor, but because God loves us so much that He would die for us, rise for us, and come back to make sure we knew the truth.

Jesus does not want us to be unaware of the work of God.  He wants us to share in His love, His purpose, and His life.  God has been revealed to us.  He showed us the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  And Jesus will never forsake us in life or in death.

And so, I thank Jesus for living, for dying, for rising, and for coming to tell us that it was ALL accomplished.  Someday He will come again and remind us of His great plan, His great love, and His great power.  Come Lord Jesus!

Until He returns,

Pastor Dan