Acts 10:34a, 37-43 / Col 3:1-4 or 1 Cor 5:6b-8 / Jn 20:1-9
Long ago there was an exceedingly clever court jester at the court of the Caliph of Baghdad. For YEARS he’d never failed to amuse the court whenever they called him. But one day, in a split second of carelessness, he offended the caliph who ordered him put to death. “However,” said the caliph, “in consideration of your many years of fine and faithful service, I’ll let you choose how you wish to die.”
“Oh mighty Caliph,” replied the jester. “I thank you for your great kindness. I choose death….by old age.”
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Wouldn’t we all! But that just delays the big question: Then what? What comes after you finally die at the age of 110 on the tennis court?
Only Jesus has the answer. He says, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, even though he die, will live with me forever.” It sounds good. But Jesus knew — as we know — that talk is cheap.
So instead of just talking, he gave us a sign, something very tangible: Nothing less than his own dying, being buried in the ground for three days, and then being raised from the dead.
He gave us this as the guarantee that his promise can be trusted. And that’s what we’re celebrating this morning: That Jesus IS risen, and that those of us who believe in him and who reshape our lives in his image will rise with him and be with him for all eternity.
That’s why we’re so very glad on Easter day! And that’s why we pray from the bottom of our hearts, “Thank-you, Lord! Thank-you for the whole eternity we’re going to spend with you!”