But Go, Tell
But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him, just as he told you.
Every year I struggle preaching on the Resurrection of Jesus. It’s not that I have trouble with the fact that Jesus rose form the dead. I believe he did. I really do.
I struggle with trying to find something new.
I often listen to the sermons of a preacher by the name of Frederick Craddock. He used to say he sent his sermons out like doves. Sometimes the sermons flew out from the pulpit and floated beautifully in the air, gracing the congregation with their presence.
Other times, Mr. Craddock said, they didn’t fly and merely dropped to the floor from the pulpit.
So it is with my Easter Sermons.
This year I am transfixed by the fact that after Jesus rose, people went out immediately to tell others. (The Resurrection accounts are recorded in Matthew 28:1-10; Mark 16:1-8, Luke 24:1-12 and John 20:1-18)
The people who first discovered Jesus had risen from the dead experienced
amazement and fear. But it seems after that there was joy.
At memorial services and funerals, I try to bring joy into the midst of grief by preaching the joy of the Resurrection. It reminds people that because Jesus now lives, those who die in Christ shall also live.
It does not erase the grief, but it does bring some light and hope into the darkness of grief.
I also think it is important to bring the joy of the Resurrection into the normal, everyday lives of people.
Each of us can get pulled down in the events of this life. Frankly, it can drain us of joy, of strength, of energy.
Add to that many of us are dealing with the brokenness of so many aspects of this life.
Jesus’ resurrection reminds us that this brokenness will not have the last word. Rather Jesus’ joy, Jesus’ life and Jesus resurrection will have the last word. It is a tradition in many churches to share a special greeting on Easter. One person greets another with the words, “He is risen!” The other responds, “He is risen indeed!”
That simple greeting brings a simple smile to others.
On that first Easter, the man sitting in the tomb told Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome to go and tell the disciples that Jesus had been raised.
We too share that Good News in the lives of others. It too brings them joy!
Go and tell!
Jesus is risen! He is risen indeed!
Peace Lutheran Church
Mill Valley, California