I’m curious. Why didn’t Mary Magdelene or the disciples on the road to Emmaus recognize the risen Lord? Why did the resurrected Christ suddenly have the superpower to appear and disappear, walking through walls and closed doors. And why, when Jesus’ body was gloriously restored, did he still have the scars on his hands, feet, and side?
Reflecting on these three mysteries, David Johnson, a SoulStream partner, says this to our community,
This third mystery is really the key to grasping fully the meaning of resurrection—i.e., the key to experiencing resurrection, not just accepting the doctrine. Jesus’ lingering wounds tell us that the new life God offers us is not about restoring perfection. It’s not taking us back to the Garden of Eden. Resurrection isn’t a “do-over.” No, I believe that the resurrected Jesus continues to bear the wounds as a sign that he is continuing to be with us, daily taking the slings and arrows of this outrageous life right along with us. And he’s now inviting us to do the same for others. That means that resurrection isn’t just a one-time event, something in the past to profess faith in, something in the future to wish for. No, resurrection is here. It’s now. It’s not so much something to be believed as it is something to be lived.
The resurrection is something to be lived. Jesus shows us that as we live it out, we will look different, we will do things we couldn’t do before, and we will continue to bear the scars of the wounds that threatened to kill us.
So, I ask myself, How am I different in my post-Easter Covid-19 life? What can I do now that I never could before? From what deaths have I risen?
As you reflect on these three mysteries, I would love to hear how you’ve experienced resurrection. Here’s where these questions take me.
I’ve never seen myself so consistent at centering prayer, daily exercise, and eating healthy food. I never thought I would have the superpower to run Zoom meetings complete with screen shares, breakout rooms, and random unnerving glitches. While my normally full life has been ramped up with steep learning curves and more responsibilities and jobs to do, I’ve been given words to breathe that keep me grounded: pause, be one, notice, let go of what doesn’t serve you.
Twenty-five years ago, I thought I would die when Fred was so sick that he had to fly back to Canada leaving me in Turkey with our thirteen-year-old son, ten-year-old daughter, and a 40-foot boat I couldn’t sail. A few years later, I thought I would die when I had to leave a church I loved because I couldn’t fix what was wrong. I thought I would die last spring when I was judged and dismissed.
But I have risen.
As I recall those events, I no longer experience the intense grief, helplessness, or shame I felt then. I feel free and a little less afraid of the next death that’s coming. I have more compassion and hope for others who are struck down for they will but not be destroyed. I have more freedom to choose what gives life to me and to others instead of numbing, disappearing, or distracting myself. That’s not to say I don’t do those things anymore, but to have the superpower to do them less often than I used to. Now that’s a me I have not seen before.
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. –2 Corinthians 4:8-10 (ESV)
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Being resurrected is being awake to what is true and living out of that space. It’s the state of being “woke.” When we are awake–living with awareness–we make life-giving choices that affect the planet and its inhabitants. Justin Michael Williams explains this term with a lot of passion. That passion comes from his roots and from his own transformed life. He invites us to stay woke and join the revolution that begins from inside where God/Truth/Love dwells in the core of our being.