I’m in the okay now what camp. Easter has come and gone, okay now what? What I’m saying is what real difference has the life, death, burial and resurrection of Jesus made in our lives on a daily basis. And what I’m really saying is how is Easter impacting you today?!
Tim Suttle is an adjunct professor at the Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City, Missouri and someone I follow on Twitter, on Easter Sunday he posted, “Working on my sermon & telling myself the story of the resurrection. I think I became a Christian again … it happens every year.” I get his point. It’s hard not to be effected by a dead man climbing out of the grave just like He said He would.
They say there are critics, talkers and doers. James 1:22 is one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture. It’s hard for this pastor to hear the Word of God and not do what I read - I hope that makes sense. In other words the church is supposed to be full of “Doers.”
Karl Barth is a Swiss theologian. Once Barth was on a bus in the city of Basel where he had lived and taught for many years. A tourist came up and sat beside him on the bus and Barth asked the man what he wanted to see while he was in the city? The tourist said, “I would like to see the great theologian Karl Barth. Do you know him?” Barth replied, “Oh yes, I shave him every morning.” The man went away satisfied, telling his friends that he had met Barth’s barber. This guy was close just like the crowd was close to the Kingdom on Palm Sunday. Close but not there yet.
Jesus asked His disciples in Matthew 16:13 - 15, “Who do people say I am?” They gave Him a variety of answers in the same way I think people would answer the question today. Then Jesus asked the question a little differently, He asked more specifically, “Who do YOU say that I am?” Peter replied with the accurate answer, “YOU are the Christ, the Son of the Living God.” Everyone has to answer that question for themselves. And for those that answer like Peter their lives are changed forever and a week is no longer set aside for holiness and a single day can no longer contain Easter, it becomes an everyday affair, a way of life, a lifestyle.
How can we read the Red Letters and live the way most of us live? Without risk and without any radical difference between the church and the culture? If we are not changed then we become satisfied like the Swiss tourist. Knowing someone that knows someone is not the same thing as a salvation experience. How many have met Jesus but don’t know it or don’t care? How many have met Him but have not built a relationship with Him? How many have come close, a Palm Sunday kind of close?
God’s love for you was made known through Christ and Peter shared that He wants no one to perish (2 Peter 3:9). Paul told Timothy that God wants everyone to know what he calls “saving truth” ( 1 Timothy 2:4). That truth can set you free (John 8:32), make you new and fill you with hope, peace and joy. Jesus popped out of that grave to change lives. He told me to tell you that.