The story sounds so completely preposterous. 

A boy grows up like any other boy.  Only this boy would teach in the synagogues, and with such authority the priests would be seized with jealousy.  They would obsess over plotting to kill Him.

The boy grows up into adolescence like any other young man.  Only He would not look for a wife, but instead devote Himself to carpentry and to prayer.

The adolescent grows up like any other man, only He changes water to wine.

And He claims to be the Son of God.  The I Am.

Twelve men would leave their families and their lives in an instant because He called them.

It doesn’t make sense. 

In an ordinary place among ordinary people, a Man walks among them.  A Man who, on the outset, would seem ordinary, too.  But He isn’t.

He heals the blind, He touches the leper, He raises the dead.

In a time when women are property, He defends them.

In a place where there is no food, He feeds multitudes with a boy’s lunch.

How can that be?

To some religious leaders He boldly states, “The Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” Luke 6:5

Time and time again He shows His power, His authority.

Except one night when soldiers have come to take Him.  Still, His authority overwhelms them and they fall helpless to the ground.  He gives them strength again and as His disciples look on, they stand to their feet and seize Him.  A soldier loses an ear in the melee and He heals him.  

Why?  Why doesn’t He run while He can?

He stands before men in four separate mock trials.

He is sentenced to die in the place of a murderer who is set free.

He is beaten beyond recognition as a man.

But some begin to recognize Him as more than a man.

He is nailed to a cross to die among thieves, and promises one of them who asks that he will have a place with Him in Paradise that day.

How can He make that promise?

“But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, ‘He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.’” Luke 23:35

Why didn’t He?

He calls to His Father in heaven, asking Him to forgive all who have sinned against Him.

He dies and is buried in a tomb with armed guards standing watch.

The disciples scatter. Judas is dead. Peter hides in his shame. Hope is lost.  A man is dead.

Was it all too good to be true? Were His claims preposterous? Were His promises empty?

Three years had come and gone like a dream and now they were awake.  It’s over.  The Sabbath comes and goes.

And it’s morning on the third day.

Some disciples journey to the tomb. Some take spices for burial.

Photo by Ferrell Jenkins

But the stone is already rolled away and  He’s gone.

How?  Where were the soldiers? 

In her grief, Mary Magdalene begs a man she supposes to be the gardener, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” John 20:15

If only she could have one more moment with Him.

The Man calls her name.

“Mary!”

That voice, she knows that voice!

“Teacher!”

And she clings to Him.

She clings to Him Who is hope, to Him Who is the resurrection and the life, to Him Who is the Lord of the Sabbath, the Lord of the universe, the King of heaven.

It was all true!  It sounded preposterous, ludicrous, absurd. A boy born to a virgin who claimed to be God and came to die for the sins of the world?  To human ears, human reasoning, it seemed insane.

It was beyond their comprehension.

It’s a story so elaborate, so perfectly designed, so extraordinary, so humble and so powerful at the same time that only God could dream it.

From the very beginning, everything He said would happen did.

He’s still dreaming dreams for us.  He’s still making promises that seem completely contrary to anything we can understand.  He’ll heal the marriage, He’ll bring home the child, He’ll provide the need.  He’ll forgive the sin,  He’ll make us new creations.  He’ll love us and be by our side no matter what.

He’ll prepare a home for us and come back to take us there.

And He’ll seal the promise by filling us with His Holy Spirit.

It seems preposterous.  Impossible.  Almost unbelievable.

But the stone is rolled away and He is alive.

 

May the joy of Jesus’ Resurrection fill you this day and every day!