Alive for Easter

"…but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."

Easter Sunday, and as far as we can tell the Tomb is still very much empty.

At the climax of a tumultuous and agonizing week, our Lord gave His life for His friends. And on Sunday, He is alive. Giving His life. Living His life. Giving. Living. Giving in the Living. Living in the Giving. There is Life, and there is Gift, and we remember.

So, what does it mean to be alive? To be truly alive? To live givingly and to give livingly?

Img_3193It has to be more than just doing the right things. It has to mean more than just believing the right things. It needs to be more than saying a prayer, signing a page, filling out a tithe check, serving in the nursery.

"…but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."

So, what does it mean to be alive? To be truly alive? To live givingly and to give livingly?

Because if Jesus came to die for our sins, it just seems that this is one side of a multifaceted story. Didn’t He also come to give life, also die to show real life, also come back from the dead to life to show us what really living is supposed to look like? Jesus’ death did more than work as an atonement for a holy God. It also served to cure us of our bent towards our way, our tendency away from God, He showed us life is meant to be lived with God, not without God. To be lived fully in friendship with the Lord, not selfishly relying on ourselves.

The Resurrection points to something better, something more meaningful, something more redemptive. It points us to real life, being lived out generously, creatively, selflessly, intentionally.

It’s about so much more than me and my sin. It’s about me being lived outwardly towards you, giving of myself and living for your benefit, for God’s benefit, in relationship with Him and with you. It means taking seriously every person I come in contact with, respecting and loving and relating and empathizing all over the place. It means freedom, and it means sharing the freedom with everyone in my path, everyone in my daytimer, everyone on my to-do list.

If the Cross is the end, then the Resurrection is the beginning. And we are to live out of the beginning, to give out of the historical, supernatural, magical fact that Jesus is alive.

You see, the thoughts behind my "new and encouraging cynicism" yesterday come  from a mindset that, at least this year, there’s a different focus from the usual Easter-related thoughts I’m reading across the blogscape. Most of the pastors and church leaders in my google reader are looking forward to hundreds of folks coming to Easter services, hearing about Jesus for the first time. My thoughts, on the other hand, go to the thousands upon thousands who are going to be hearing this story again – who need to hear it again, in a fresh and meaningful way. This gospel is for the saved, too.

"…but these are written so that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name."

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