Luke 24:1-12 (ESV)
"But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they went in they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, behold, two men stood by them in dazzling apparel. And as they were frightened and bowed their faces to the ground, the men said to them, 'Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, that the Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men and be crucified and on the third day rise.' And they remembered his words, and returning from the tomb they told all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. Now it was Mary Magdalene and Joanna and Mary the mother of James and the other women with them who told these things to the apostles, but these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. But Peter rose and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; and he went home marveling at what had happened."
This past weekend I have felt particularly reminded of the power and awe struck wonder we experience when we stop and consider Christ's resurrection Easter Sunday morning. As a youth I can remember the guilt and burden I felt in contemplating the agonizing death Jesus would of experienced on the cross but, now I feel so relieved, filled with amazement, and inspired with hope at the great event where not even death itself could stop the good news and life of Jesus Christ!
That Sunday for Peter and the other followers must have been so mind blowing and empowering. Fear of any kind would of ceased and no earthly threat whether Roman centurion, Emperor, or otherwise would have seemed at all validated. Peter must have experienced a freedom that seemed endless.
At the same time the freedom that resurrection brings seems to be an on going process. The gospel of Christ's life, death, and resurrection continues to be shared with greater numbers and new followers of "The Way" from the first century to today. Resurrectional Freedom became a wild fire of liberation to the people of the world if they only would choose to see and believe it. The gates of the prison were flung wide open but now the prisoners had to choose to walk out.
That story is one that I think needs to be told more and more often then ever today. We need to share our stories and pray for a resurrectional Spirit that will cover us and those around us where ever we are. I myself feel drawn to see the power of resurrection in my own life. I grow tired of living in the fear, guilt, and false images of imprisonment that are written on the walls around me. I am starving for the clear air and open spaces that lay beyond the open gates of my cell and I am sick of listening to my accuser and imprisoner tell me of the charges of my past and falsely lie about my inabilities to be anything but that.
In truth, embracing the on going process of resurrection itself is a scary proposition. I have been so complacent to the images on my cell wall that I have no idea what lies beyond them in open space. Instead, what I now realize is that God did not promise life without fear;he promised life in the fullest at the exclusion of any death, all of which was under not our own control but his. Resurrection brings new life which we would not have expected and adds a freshness and excitement which leaves us constantly craving for our next moment, our next encounter with God and others, our next epiphany!
I suppose that is where I am today after the Easter weekend. Like Peter, I am tired of stooping and looking into the tomb, dumbfounded, and stumbling around trying to find a body. It is time I go home and out into the world sharing and marveling at the wonder of Christ's on going resurrectional processes in my life.
Do you find yourself spending more time staring at the "images on the walls of your cell" then choosing to walk outside in the freedom that Christ offers? Why?
How has the Spirit of resurrection influenced or impacted you so that you can experience the freedom of Christ in your life?