We make our final journey with Jesus this week, a pilgrimage that moves us to the intimacy of the Upper Room, the shock of Jesus’ arrest and trial, the final steps to Calvary, the cross and death. We walk these steps with our Lord, reflecting on our own moments of faithlessness and our desire to be more authentic Christians. And then, when all hope seemed scattered and dissolved, we walk to the empty tomb and encounter the God of resurrection, whom death could not defeat.
Easter both embodies and explains the Christian faith. I can only imagine how the disciples figured the story of Jesus was now over, following his terrible and shameful public death on Good Friday. Although they would have known many biblical stories of how God does amazing and suprising work, they were completely unprepared for resurrection. Easter is a story of what only God can do. We need this reminder. Our lives and our world can get cynical, easily believing that the present reality of our lives fully determines the future, that God is unable to change the worst the world has to offer. We all have hopes in our life that only God can accomplish: places where we are stuck, where life has ground to a halt, where evil or trouble seems to have the upper hand. Easter shows us the astounding new way that God can work. Easter changes everything. What the world declares is dead, God overcomes and brings life. The disciples are changed, their lives and their faith transformed as they live in the new reality of what God can do. Worship with us this Sunday as we meet the God of resurrection, who joyfully gives us life and enlivens our faith. We worship the God who makes us new.