Summary: Easter is the celebration of an intersection as well… and intersection of two realms… heaven… and earth. Easter is the celebration of an event… the resurrection of Christ… and all that it speaks of God’s plan for creation… for us.
The Grand Intersection of Easter
Easter Sunday, April 12, 2009 - Brad Bailey
Last week… we looked at the Cross as the remarkable intersection… between the holiness and love of God… between justice and mercy… > Easter is the celebration of an intersection as well… and intersection of two realms… heaven… and earth. Easter is the celebration of an event… the resurrection of Christ… and all that it speaks of God’s plan for creation… for us. It’s an intersecting by which the eternal realm of God settles it’s claim upon the created realm. This morning I want to help us capture the true hope that has come in this cosmic intersecting. I want to help us shift from the cultural ideas of Easter to the grand and cosmic scale of what Easter brings. Of course as one hears the accounts… as we heard portions at the start of our gathering… they begin with anything but hope… in fact they are filled with confusion. They are the accounts of the clueless. They really couldn’t grasp anything because it just didn’t fit their expectations… their ideas of what God was going to do… especially their expectations of a Messiah. Jesus was proving to have even greater power and authority than expected… but what they were waiting for was the promised Messiah to restore the earthly kingdom of Israel. Their story was one of being called to a better land… a promised land… and now in part by their own disobedience… they were in exile or enslaved… waiting for God to restore their national kingdom. They never understood what Jesus said he must do… in dying… let alone rising. They didn’t even like such ideas… more importantly … they didn’t even understand them. To see Christ enter Jerusalem and suddenly become captive by the Romans…. was utterly devastating. To watch the Romans beat him… and then the people mock him.. was beyond confusing… it was disorienting. And to see this all lead to crucifixion… was the most disorienting turn of events imaginable. In the power of Roman control, crucifixion was the ultimate way of declaring that “the Romans run this place” … and the most degrading and humiliating spectacle imaginable. The cross meant one thing… that despite how much they loved him… despite that he may have been their master and Lord who taught them so much… he simply was not God’s final servant. And as for resurrection… it was only thought by some to reflect something God may do in a far distant future. Any study of what Jewish thought was towards any idea of a future resurrection make it quite clear that no one believed in a resurrection that followed after death. The only idea of a resurrection was about something God may do in a far distant future. And so the accounts are filled with lives that feel lost… left with nothing but hope stripped and left in futility. Now something happened on that third day… and whatever happened changed all of those involved… and spread out into the world ... and wherever it has gone it has brought change… a connection to the living and loving God … and His purposes and plans. In recent years… some have tried to suggest that these followers merely came to develop a story that fulfilled their expectations. Perhaps they wanted something to be true so bad that it sort of formed within and around them.