My posts come from my personal daily scripture readings and a part of my personal accountability. If we are going to grow as followers of Christ, we must be in the Word! If you miss these a few days, something has kept me from it; but if they're gone for too many days, call me on the carpet. We need to hold one another accountable. Join me on this journey as our lives are to Reflect the Image-and Jesus IS the image. Peace, Carla Sunberg
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“Why do you look for the living among the dead?”
The beauty of new life in the Spring at Fletcher Moss Park, Didsbury.
The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.
This is the great story of Resurrection Sunday. The women have gone to the garden tomb and discovered that Jesus is not there. The two men in “dazzling” clothes speak with the women and the begin their affirmation of Jesus’ life with a question. It’s that question that tells the women that Jesus is alive. He is living, and therefore, you will not find him here in a grave, among the dead. Then, just to add clarity they respond by telling the women the good news that “He is not here, but has risen.” It’s this news that changes everything, both that day, and today.
This season of life is filled with a multitude of emotions as I experience the full cycle of life. Just a couple of months ago we said “good-bye” to my dear mother. She had lived a good, long, and full life. Yesterday I had the privilege of being present when we welcomed a new grandson into the world. There is that little moment after the baby is born when you wait with vivid anticipation for that first sign of life. Is the baby moving? Is the baby breathing? Is he okay? Then you hear that little cry and the tears begin to flow, for there is great joy in knowing that he is alive! There is a huge difference between life and death.
This story about the life of Jesus is not just about his resurrection, but about ours as well. When we receive new life, we are born again. This is new life, and we are invited to be actively engaged in that new life. Why would anything alive, live among the dead? I think that’s the real question of Easter Sunday morning? If, as believers, we do not choose to dwell among the living, then we remain with the dead. Just imagine how morbid that would be in the literal sense, and yet, when we refuse to live our lives fully into our new life, that is exactly what we do.
What would happen to our new grandson, Theodore, whose name means “God’s gift,” if he didn’t live into his new life? He could not have survived much longer in his mother’s womb. He had to be born and live into his new life, eating and breathing! He’s learning to do these things, and it will take time. He’s out of the comfort zone of his old life, but only by living in new life will he thrive.
When we embrace the resurrection of Christ, we are invited into a brand new life. The community of faith must be the gentle mother who provides the nourishment for this brand new life among the living. The responsibility for the growth of the new babe in the Lord is much heavier upon the community than it is on the individual. No one expects a newborn to take care of himself! The church should carefully love, feed and care for her newborns so that they can thrive. The church herself, must be the land of the living! It’s a sad day when people think they have to try and find the living somewhere among the dead.
We embrace the new life of resurrection. Christ is not among the dead, for he is risen! We are invited to journey among the living, because he is risen. This is the hope that is set before us; the joy that wells up inside when that new babe in Christ takes their first breath. The chasm of death to life has been crossed by the One who gave his life for us to live.
Lord, I rejoice in you, and thank you for your gift! Amen.
Rom. 6:22 But now that you have been freed from sin and enslaved to God, the advantage you get is sanctification. The end is eternal life. Rom. 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Two sides of life are presented here in great contrast. One is a life of sin and enslavement to evil. The other side of life is freedom which provides the advantage of sanctification (or holiness as some translate the word) that leads to eternal life. The options here are a life of sin, slavery and death; or freedom, holiness and eternal life.
The advantage of holiness or sanctification is the benefit of the life of freedom. Jesus died so that we might be made holy like him and this is something that is offered as a “fruit” or “advantage” right now. The end is eternal life — but the living of life is that it can be lived out in holiness.
The next verse is really just an affirmation of the verse 22. Sin will lead …
Scripture: Mark 8:31 Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 He said all this quite openly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and looking at his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.” Observation:
Peter had openly declared that Jesus was the Messiah when suddenly the conversation shifted to suffering, rejection and death. With his affirmation of Jesus as Messiah, Peter had brought with him all of the connotations of that term. Jesus was to be a great military leader, a Davidic Messiah, who would save the people from the earthly authorities. Jesus’ description was a paradigm that didn’t fit into Peter’s thinking.
Peter’s rebuke of Jesus was severe. The language reflects a long and unpleasant conversation. The…
Scripture: Rev. 3:14 “And to the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the origin of God’s creation: Rev. 3:15 “I know your works; you are neither cold nor hot. I wish that you were either cold or hot. 16 So, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 For you say, ‘I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing.’ You do not realize that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked. 18 Therefore I counsel you to buy from me gold refined by fire so that you may be rich; and white robes to clothe you and to keep the shame of your nakedness from being seen; and salve to anoint your eyes so that you may see. 19 I reprove and discipline those whom I love. Be earnest, therefore, and repent. 20 Listen! I am standing at the door, knocking; if you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to you and eat with you, and you with me. 21 To the one who conquers I will give a plac…