Alleluia, Christ is risen! We celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the joy of God in Easter. The final “I Am” saying of Jesus that we hear this Sunday is in many respects the most significant statement of Jesus: “I am the resurrection and the life.”
On Easter Sunday, we celebrate Christ’s rising and what it means for us as people of faith. When Jesus says “I am the life…” we remember in the Gospel of John that Jesus speaks often of the kind of life he offers to us — a life that tastes and knows the abundance of God’s care, a life filled with God’s presence, a life of self-giving , a life lived in the light of God. The light moves us away from the darkness of our world.
The Gospels indicate that the resurrection had a physical dimension, enough so the disciples could tell it was Jesus in bodily form, and yet it was also a profoundly spiritual event and experience for those present. What is it we hope for ourselves in resurrection and eternal life? The Bible speaks to this. When Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life,” Jesus says that he IS life: a present and future life, both a current and an eternal reality. Jesus offers a life that, in God, overcomes all that undoes us and destroys us: hatred, greed, despair, hopelessness, oppression, a life devoid of great meaning that is lived just for oneself and not for God.
Jesus overcomes the worst of life: the dead-ends, all that drains, destroys, hurts and takes life from us. Our faith offers us a life that can stand up to suffering, tragedy and hopelessness. We are offered a life in God that is abundant and full, lived in the reality of God’s love. The resurrection life trusts that God is and will be working in our world and that God’s love is the most life-giving force we can experience and know. When we share in this life-giving love of God, we can celebrate and live the resurrection life now! Worship with us Sunday as we meet God’s Easter joy and taste God’s gift of life for us.
Rev. Dr. Dave Summers