Saturday, April 25, 2015

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Resurrection Experience

Luke 24:13-35


Abraham Thariath
Epiphany MTC, NY
25 Then he said to them, “Oh, how foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have declared! 26 Was it not necessary that the Messiah should suffer these things and then enter into his glory?” 

For the followers of Jesus who were troubled by his crucifixion, the Lord presented himself in different ways. For example, for these two followers who were traveling to Emmaus, Jesus appeared as a fellow traveler.  Mary Magdalene and other women, who came to the tomb to see the body, instead saw the living Christ. For the eleven disciples the resurrection experience came first through the report of the women and the travelers. But none of them believed, though they walked with him throughout his ministry. Then Jesus appeared to ten disciples staying in a locked room afraid of persecution, while Thomas was away. Later Jesus presents himself to Thomas.  Scared that their future livelihood is in jeopardy, the disciples went back to their old job of fishing. Jesus then appeared to this workplace and later invited them to witness his ascension.

Resurrection experience is the revelation that our God is alive and is always with us, through thick and thin. “We know that God who raised the Lord Jesus to life will also raise us up with Jesus and present us with you to himself,” as Paul put it to Corinthians. The criteria is that “ …just  as all people die because of their union with Adam,  in the same way all (the faithful) will be raised to life because of their union with Christ.”

Based on the experience of those contemporary followers of Christ, our experience of the risen Lord can vary. This experience can dawn on us, probably at a communion service, while taking his body and blood; Or may be during a sermon, or during a conversation in our work place or during a bible reading session, or a family prayer. Wherever and whenever we confront this presence of the Lord, be mindful that he is the living Lord and be ready to accept him as our Lord and Savior to be in union with him.

Resurrection, which proved the Jesus is the son God and on which Christianity revolves around, was not an isolated phenomenon. It preceded Jesus’ death on the cross, and was followed by his ascension into heaven, and his eventual return to redeem the faithful. For the real resurrection experience one should identify oneself  with Jesus’ suffering at the cross and its sole purpose, and purify and prepare oneself ready to receive him when he returns.

The thought for today is “Community formation around the resurrection experience.” Before Jesus’ ascension into heaven, he told the disciples, ““All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” He charged the Holy Spirit as the big helper to achieve the great commission. “… When the Holy Spirit comes upon you, you will be witnesses for me in Jerusalem, in all of Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” With the help of the Holy Spirit the disciples were emboldened to take up this task, and they did not refrain from it even in the face   of death.

As Christians, who have experienced the risen Christ, it is our bounden responsibility to  take up the great commission and save the humankind. Preaching of the Gospel to all the nation is a precondition for Christ’s return. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all the nations, and then the end will come,” Jesus said. We are answerable to God in this regard on the judgment day.


PRAYER


Oh Lord our God, help us all to fulfill the great commission so that all people on earth will receive everlasting life in union with you. Amen

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY:
Resurrection experience is the revelation that our God is alive and is always with us, through thick and thin.