The Resurrection of our Lord

by Crossings

Luke 24:1-12
(The Resurrection of our Lord)
analysis by Robin Morgan

1But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3but when they went in, they did not find the body. 4While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5The 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. 6Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” 8Then they remembered his words, 9and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. 10Now it was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them who told this to the apostles. 11But these words seemed to them an idle tale, and they did not believe them. 12But Peter got up and ran to the tomb; stooping and looking in, he saw the linen cloths by themselves; then he went home, amazed at what had happened.

DIAGNOSIS: Grave Existence

Step 1–Initial Diagnosis: Business as Usual
Though that Sunday morning of all Sunday mornings was dawning, human beings were going about their business as usual. Even those who had been with him and had heard his words were not able to step beyond their cultural milieu. This momentous turning point in history found the men and the women doing “same old, same old.” The women, as women had done for generations, went to the tomb early to anoint Jesus’ body. The men, as men are inclined to do, didn’t believe the women when they came rushing back with miraculous news.

Step 2–Advanced Diagnosis: How can this be?
When they get to the gravesight, neither the women, nor the men, could believe what had happened. The stone is rolled away, and there is no body. How can this be? Was the body stolen? Does a dead body just get up and leave? With hindsight we may want to castigate those Easter morning participants for their unbelief, but would we have reacted any differently? Jesus told them himself that he would rise, but their (our) “business as usual” experiences cannot accept that evidence. Surely, the turmoil of those last days and the sheer weight of how things ought to be overwhelmed them. But their (our) unbelief is the bigger problem here.

Step 3–Final Diagnosis: Lost and Wandering
Running to and fro will not help Peter, Mary, nor us if we have rejected the real value of the happening in the empty tomb. They/we are lost in their existence of wandering–and lost not only in hope, but in their relationship with God. Though the stone is rolled away and the body of their Lord is not there, the ultimate judgment on our puzzlement and wandering is that God has left us running and getting nowhere.

PROGNOSIS: Living beyond the Grave

Step 4–Initial Prognosis: It’s True!
But there is the flip side of the stone, which is rolled away. Indeed, he is not there; he is risen! Alleluia! God’s work in Christ has come to this glorious morning when death has been conquered and those that were lost, are now found in the completed work of Jesus Christ. It isn’t an idle tale. The truth beyond our scientific facts is that he is risen, as he has promised, to overcome all estrangement between us and God. He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!

Step 5–Advanced Prognosis: Run to Him
The frantic, panicky running of the once unbelieving Mary and Peter can now be transformed into running the good race of faith by this One who was raised for us all. Trust in the Lord changes their/our skeptical unbelief into joyous faith. The anguish of the last days that left them all confused and afraid is rolled away as the stone itself.

Step 6–Final Prognosis: Business Transformed
Nothing will ever be the same. This fulcrum point of history dramatically touched Mary and Peter so that their lives were never the same again. Those lost in despair are now found in the life of the One who walked (ran?) from the tomb. We, along with Mary and Peter, can run to tell everyone the same old, same old will never be the same again. Christ is risen, he is risen indeed. Alleluia!


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In the early 1970s two seminary professors listened to the plea of some lay Christians. “Can you help us live out our faith in the world of daily work?” they asked. “Can you help us connect Sunday worship with our lives the other six days of the week?”  That is how Crossings was born.


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