It’s Easter Sunday, and Jesus is alive.
But let’s look at Friday, Jesus the great king is defeated, hanging on a cross.
The crowds gathered at the cross hear the words “It is finished” and they do not see a victorious saviour, bringing an end to sin and death. They see their defeated champion saying “This is the end”
Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea take his body, the body of the greatest one they have ever known.
Isn’t this what religion so often tries to do?
“If we can just try and hold onto this old story, this old tradition, this memory for a little bit longer.”
Metaphorically you can feel the tension, they want to preserve this dead thing. There is hopelessness and there is darkness that rolls over the entire earth.
And as the hours roll by and Saturday arrives, there’s a tension in the air. There’s the tension of the promises of Jesus and God broken and unfulfilled.
For some of us Saturday has never ended. We are still sat in the middle of a failed story, with all our hopes and our dreams left in a tomb somewhere.
All we have is a memory of the past, but no hope for the future.
It reminds me of the hopelessness of Ecclesiastes.
“What do people get for all their hard work under the sun? 4 Generations come and generations go, but the earth never changes. 5 The sun rises and the sun sets, then hurries around to rise again. 6 The wind blows south, and then turns north. Around and around it goes, blowing in circles. 7 Rivers run into the sea, but the sea is never full. Then the water returns again to the rivers and flows out again to the sea. 8 Everything is wearisome beyond description. No matter how much we see, we are never satisfied. No matter how much we hear, we are not content.” Ecclesiastes 1:3-8
The writer draws his conclusion in chapter 2
“So I came to hate life because everything done here under the sun is so troubling. Everything is meaningless–like chasing the wind.”Ecclesiastes 2:17
Do we live like it’s Saturday…
In the shame of Peter, afraid alone and full of regret. He has rejected the one that he loves. He has walked away from the one that chose and loved him.
Have you ever made a mistake that has brought shame to your life. A mistake that went against the very thing that you believed for yourself. A mistake that you thought there was no way back from. Can you sit with Peter for a minute and feel his pain. He can’t even say sorry because Jesus is dead.
Can you imagine the regret that Peter is feeling the pain and the hurt.
The hours roll past and Sunday comes. Light breaks over the horizon, the sun rises again. The breathe of God comes over Jesus and his eyes open. He is alive, the son of God is awake. The greatest surprise in human history has taken place and many people don’t even realise it was happening.
As the sun rose on Jerusalem that day it was the first day of a whole new creation. Do you know most people are still living like it’s Saturday they don’t realise that the son of God has opened His eyes.
The resurrection changed everything for Peter.
In John 21 you see the disciples fishing out on the lake, they’ve been at it all night and caught nothing. They hear this voice call to them from the shore and quickly remember the voice of their saviour who called them those three years ago. It says they follow the instructions of Jesus and the nets are full of fish. Peter jumps in the water and swims to shore.
Have you ever made a mistake that just destroys you?
Jesus looks at the eyes of Peter and says “Do you love me Simon son of John? You’re going to be a Shepherd not a fisherman, feed my lambs”
“Do you love me Peter?” “Take care of my sheep” Then after a while he looks back over at Peter, I know all you wanted to do was say sorry, but I want to ask you again
“Do you love me Peter?”
“You Know I love you”
“Feed my sheep”
He reinstates Peter for the three times he failed. Three times he welcomes him back with love in the middle of his greatest pain. The resurrection meets us and takes away our greatest pain.
He wants to meet you if your hopeless
He wants to meet you if you hard work
He wants to meet you if your disillusioned and doubting
He wants to meet you if you feel like you have failed and your unrecoverable, there is no mistake that he will walk away of.
He walks through walls you have put up and doors that you’ve locked.
Because Jesus awoke to resurrection life He is saying no matter the situation no matter who you are. I will restore your worth, dignity and hope.
Sunday is here