Death and Resurrection

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To follow Jesus means to accept the cross, to walk with him against imperial violence and religious collaboration, and to pass through death and resurrection.

~The Last Week, Borg and Crossan

I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

~Philippians 3:10-11

For followers of Jesus, we are called to participate in the resurrection as much as we are called to celebrate it. It’s not just a historical event for us, a day we celebrate once a year. It is the reality in which we live. Resurrection inhabits every moment of every day. New life is always emerging from our chaos.

But new life requires death. Rising with him comes only from suffering and dying with him. Yes, Jesus died for me. Yes, Jesus rose for me. And yes, he died and rose for you, too. But he didn’t do it so we would talk about it one day a year. He did it so we could participate in it, weaving death and resurrection into the fabric of our lives.

This week, this Holy Week, is about participating in Jesus’s journey toward death. Finding him as he prays in the garden, standing with him on trial, sitting before him on the cross. Or, like the disciples (and most likely us too), sleeping while he prays in the garden, denying him while he stands on trial, and fleeing from him on the cross.  

But even for us who sleep, deny and flee from him, he is waiting for us.

It is good news to me, this death and resurrection. Because it means that my suffering is not meaningless, that my dead ends can become new beginnings. It means that when my soul feels like death, I am close to new life. Resurrection is right around the corner.

[Resurrection says that] there is a new creation bursting forth
right here in the middle of this one
and there is a new heaven and a new earth coming together
and that this Jesus, in his resurrection insists that in the conquering of death
he has brought about something new
something you can trust
that whatever is holding you down
whatever feels like it’s drowning you
whatever feels like it’s a weight chained to your ankle
does not have the last word

That is resurrection

Sunday (featuring Rob Bell), The Liturgists

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