Summary: A closer look at the resurrection of Christ.
Sunday – “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places”
5th in a series on “Passion Week”
Cynthia Thomas tells a story about her “brother and his new wife who were escorted to their bridal suite in an elegant hotel in the wee hours of the morning. They were tired from the many hours at their wedding reception and from mingling with their guests. They took a look around their room, taking in the sofa, chairs, and table. But where was the bed? This was the bridal suite…Right? Then they discovered the sofa was a hide-a-bed, complete with lumpy mattress and springs sagging to the floor. Cynthia’s brother and his new wife spent a fitful night on the hide-a-bed, waking up with sore backs.
“The next morning, the new husband went to the hotel desk and gave the management a tongue-lashing for giving them such a terrible room for the bridal suite.
“‘Did you open the door in the room?’ was the response.
“When he went back up to the room, he opened a door they had thought was a closet. There, complete with fruit baskets and chocolates, was a beautiful bedroom” (Edward K. Rowell &Leadership Journal, 1001 Quotes, Illustrations & Humorous Stories for Preachers, Teachers & Writers (Baker Books: Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1996, 1997), 469).
Too often we live lives of mediocrity. We are content with the status quo. We aren’t stirred much by the news because it honestly doesn’t affect us all that much; and we’re content and comfortable when things remain the same. We don’t expect much out of life, but rather live with the mundane trappings of mediocre success that our world defines as “normal.”
We, like the new husband and wife, live in a room with tables and chairs and a pull-out bed. And the church in our culture is content to rest on a lumpy mattress of indifference and apathy, rather than open the door of possibility that would forever change our lives for the better. And you’d think we would have learned by now. You’d think that we would have remembered the promises Christ gave us. You’d think we would live with the present reality of the risen Christ. You’d think that we would celebrate the fact that our sins are forgiven through the cross of Calvary, and that we have eternal life if we believe in Christ.
But, nothing is new under the sun. We celebrate today as the day that Christ rose from the dead. We celebrate this Easter Sunday as a day that Jesus actually did what he said he would do. But as we see in our reading today, even the disciples and followers of Christ missed it. They had forgotten what Jesus had told them. They had forgotten what they had given up and who they were following for the past three years. They had disregarded the joy of celebration and anticipation on that Sunday morning and were content to just live with the defeat of Friday. They had no expectations; they had flat-lined, they were sorrow-filled, and they were devastated. They had neglected to look through the closed door of promise into the empty tomb of redemption. Read with me Luke’s account of that one Sunday…