Just as dawn broke, Mary went to the tomb. Things were not as she expected. The tomb was open, something was not right. Over her shoulder, a man stood. Certain it was the gardener, Mary said, “If you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” Then the risen Lord said, “Mary.” Can you imagine how that felt? The words of the crucified Jesus. How could this be?
In a locked room, the disciples listened to the words of Mary, but they still feared the Jews. Then all of a sudden, Jesus came into the room, through the door. The risen Lord, the Son of God, stood among them and proclaimed, “Peace be with you!” The text says the disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Can you imagine how they felt?
Another time a zealous Jewish leader was walking between cities. He was traveling with the intent of persecution. You know this story right, on the Damascus road, Jesus spoke up. “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting the me?” He saw a vision of the risen Lord. Can you imagine what that felt like? Laying your eyes on the risen Lord like that?
Evangelism begins at the empty tomb. Each of us stand in the presence of the risen Lord. Maybe you have never touched the hands and feet of our savior. Maybe you have not been blinded by a vision of Jesus, but we are the people who dwell in God’s presence. We are people of the Immanuel. People who have met Jesus. Those who have looked the risen Lord in the eyes and have accepted the salvation of God through his name. The life, death, and resurrection of Jesus is our story. This story is where we find life. It is this story that breathes new life into our dry bones, like in Ezekiel’s vision.
At the culmination of the ages, God through Jesus Christ broke in and changed all things. For you, for me, for Farmers Branch, Carrollton, and for all creation. Evangelism starts with the fullness of the good news of Jesus Christ. The resurrection is not this myth that we believe. It is not just the day when salvation broke into your life. The death and resurrection of Jesus is the victory of God over all things. It is the “Yes” to the broken world that God will stop at nothing to put things back together. So the good news is that Jesus is the son of God who came into the world to bring salvation to everyone, first for the Jews and then to the Gentiles. So just like Mary, the Twelve, Stephen, and Paul we are the people who have been graced with the Good News that Jesus saves. God, through Christ, breaks down the dividing wall of separation, and welcomes a sinful people and a broken world into his open embrace.
We are Witnesses — A people joining God’s Mission
Back to that locked room and that Damascus road. Those events were the catalysts for the people who saw Jesus. The resurrected Lord meant something special to the witnesses. The disciples left that day witnesses to the greatest story on earth. A story they could not hold in. They became radical witnesses of the way. A people called to carry the good news to the ends of the earth. This calling is nothing new. It is the very life of the people of God throughout history. Last Sunday, we celebrated Resurrection day; it is a day that compels us to live as witnesses, proclaimers and performers, to God’s salvation.
Posted on Wed, April 3, 2013
by Kevin Williams