Sunday, April 20, 2014

Sunday: Rise up and live!

(There was also a video that they put out yesterday: Saturday.  "While life is lived on Saturday, Saturday is not all there is to this life."  Just as worth watching as the two I'm posting here on the blog.)

The following is based on events that took place in and surrounding the city of Jerusalem the day after the Sabbath (the third day) and the days that followed, approximately 33 A.D.

Very early in the morning, before the sun takes its place in the sky, a woman stands in yet another garden, spices in hand, repeating the same question: "Why?" This is the scene on Sunday.

Two men walking down a seven-mile road unpacking all the thoughts that crowd in their head. The man that they thought was the Savior of the world, this man, this Jesus? Now this man was dead. This is the scene on Sunday.

A group of fishermen rowing along in their boat, just going back to what they did before. A voice cries out, "Have you not caught anything?!" There's a mysterious man waiting on the shore. This is the scene on Sunday.

Sunday starts in the dark, but soon comes a spark of revolution, of revelation, of real elation with the realization that He is real and so is His nation. 

On Sunday, the stone is rolled away, the enemy is at bay, and redemption's here to stay. On Sunday, the nets overflow, the angels simply glow, and the linen lies folded white as snow.  On Sunday, He's recognized when the bread is broken, and the dead are awoken, and a new word is spoken. On Sunday, we receive our sign that He is the vine so let His light shine. 

On Sunday, Herod was wrong. The grave was not strong, and we finally belong so sing a new song, because on Sunday, the dead rise as He opens our eyes lifting our hands to the skies. On Sunday, Peter takes a dive while the fishermen thrive. To Emmaus we arrive, and love is ALIVE. On Sunday, we don't search for the living among the dead. On Sunday, we became the body, and He became the head and redeemed every tear that has ever been shed. 

On Sunday, we head in a new direction because there's been an intersection between reflection and perfection, and that connection? That's right, we call it resurrection.

In John 19, verse 41, it says that they laid Jesus to rest in a tomb in the middle of a garden, and I think that was their biggest mistake, because if you want something to stay dead, you don't bury it in a garden where the voice of the One who created the very soil itself will call forth to His Son, saying, "Rise up and LIVE!" 

He is the gardener whispering our name. He is the stranger on Emmaus Road. He is the mysterious man calling from the shore. On Sunday, will you recognize Him? On Sunday, will you answer Him? On Sunday, will you RISE UP and LIVE?

It sounds silly to say that I didn't expect so much healing to be found in a video on the story of Jesus' resurrection, but I really did not expect to be crying first thing this morning as I watched this video.

I realized this afternoon that I was crying not because it was beautiful and so powerful.  I was crying because it was so much more than the story of Jesus' resurrection.

I was crying because it was a call to accept the price that Jesus paid to set me free.

I was crying because it was a challenge to stop letting myself get weighed down by my mistakes (which is really so unbelievably relevant after things that have happened in the past few days) and take hold of the victory that came when Jesus rose from the grave.

I was crying because it was a reminder that when Jesus said, "It is FINISHED"...he actually meant it.

A friend sent me this in a message just a few hours ago, as I was beginning to figure out what I would say in this post, knowing it would be centered around Jon's words.  "We cannot hang on to our own condemnation and to the Gospel with the same hand...we either let go of ourselves, or let go of Him - the choice is ours.  Are your eyes on your storm, or on His throne?"  The choice is mine: Keep condemning myself, or accept the grace and mercy and forgiveness that I learned quite a while ago I cannot live without.  Let go of the past, or let go of the One who is the only reason I'm still alive, the One who put the breath in my lungs.

The enemy is at bay.  Redemption's here to stay.  And I'm busy slowly killing myself trying to fight a battle that stopped being mine the second I came up from the water in that pool inside that Nashville church.  It's done.  It's over.  What will it take for me to get that?!

Just as Jesus walked along the road to Emmaus gently trying to make his presence known, just as Jesus shouted from the shore to remind the fishermen he was still there, he's been fighting so hard to get me to see that he didn't just show up for my baptism.  He's been here every single day saving me from myself, calling out my name and asking me to take his hand, aching for me to know the Lord even a fraction of how he knows me.  Apart from him, I can do NOTHING. (John 15:5)  And yet here I am, far too often acting like I don't know better.

Redemption came out of that tomb, and death died inside it.  The same voice that called me to salvation is calling me every day to rise up and LIVE.  This time, I'm going to answer Him.

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