Sunday, September 9, 2012

Blog # 272 Jesus is Risen. So What?

Blog # 272  Jesus is  Risen.  So What?

 Jesus is risen! Our sins are forgiven!  Yes, surely, but I don't think we should limit the effect or focus of the Resurrection to the accomplishment of the forgiveness of sins. I think there is more to the Resurrection than that.   I think we can miss a significant part of the meaning beauty and power of the Resurrection if we limit or identify its primary purpose, and effect  as the forgiveness of our sins.  Our sins are forgiven by and in the Resurrected Jesus, and in  the light of this  I figure there must be something more basic in our theology of the Crucifixion and Resurrection which stands as the foundation of  forgiveness, even as we keep ourselves aware of how glorious  and valuable forgiveness for us might be.
Certainly the Crucifixion and the  Resurrection are related.  The Resurrection stands, for Jesus and the world,  as proof and evidence of the faithfulness and rewarding love of  the Father for the Incarnate Word,  Jesus on earth,  in response to the perfect obedience, unconditional trust, and total love of the human Jesus on the Cross.     

What joy should be ours that God sent His Son to live among us and then to die and rise as a sign and expression of God's mercy power and love for all who believe. But just as when the sun rises in the morning the darkness of the night must go, so the light of the risen Savior will come into our hearts and lives only to the extent we cast out the darkness which is sin. We must cast out sin if we wish to have the peace and light that Jesus came to bring. Certainly the forgiveness of our sins is a wonderful fruit of the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. 

To the message of Jesus, whether He be preaching that message through the meekness and humility of the Christmas stable or through the eternal wisdom of the Sermon on the Mount, there have always been different reactions and responses  on the part of different men and women. Whether Christ be telling us of the power compassion  and goodness of God through His healing of the sick and the multiplication of the loaves and fish, whether He be telling us of the strength of God's love for us from the cross, or of the unlimited faithfulness of God our Father through the Resurrection, there have always been different responses to His message.

When Jesus preached voluntary poverty to the rich young man as told in the nineteenth chapter of St. Matthew, the young man went away sad. When Jesus preached forgiveness of sins to Peter and to Judas, Peter went out and wept.  Judas hung himself on a tree. When Jesus died on the cross between them one thief cursed Him and the other became a saint.
 Jesus is the same, yesterday today and forever. If we are faithful to His message of  love and goodness, we can be sure that one day we will share with Jesus through His victory over sin and death in the glory of His eternal life in Heaven.
Jesus desires this for each of us. Only we can tell Him no. Only we can tell Him yes.

May we love God above all and love one another as Jesus loves us! Nothing else really matters.  Anything and everything that is good can be useful in developing, and expressing our love for God and one another. This love for God and others is not, by its very nature,  competitive with personal joy and peace.  Rather it is the   foundation and cause of  these gifts which stem from love.  Sorrow and  suffering may come but these can and should be transformed into love and consequently bring peace and joy to ourselves and one another,  praise and thanks to Jesus,  and a more complete  and more perfect experience  of  the unconditional total love we have come to call worship.

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