Tag Archives: Messiah

Journey with Jesus: Easter Sunday – The Resurrection of the Lord

SCRIPTURE

Mark 16; Matthew 28; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Kings 19:10-12

ResurrectionAN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT

My friend and I were traveling back home after a long and terrible weekend. Our rabbi, our Lord, had been crucified like a common thief. What a sad and terrible event. What were we to do now that he was gone? Everything he taught, everything he called us to do, seemed to all be in vain.

While traveling we ran into a person who happened to be traveling alone and wanted to join us for some company. We certainly were in no mood for conversation, but it seemed harmless to let him join us. We said very little, for what could really be said? After sometime, the man broke the silence by asking us why we looked so down in the dumps. We told him the whole story.

He told us we were foolish for being upset that the one we believed to be the Messiah had died. How could he say that? He then started giving us his interpretation of the Scriptures, about how the Messiah would be the suffering servant and that the prophets foretold that this would happen.

We were amazed at this man’s confidence that all was well despite the circumstances. As we approached our home we invited him in to share dinner with us. It was the least we could do and we were interested to hear more of what this stranger had to say. He was going to keep going, but after insisting he agreed to stay. We gave him the honors of blessing the food and breaking the bread. It was then that we realized who this man was…he was our Lord…he was Jesus the Christ…risen from the dead!

REFLECTION

Often times we are looking for the Lord to manifest in miraculous ways. We are looking for the clouds to open and to see the Son of Man descending like God from the sky. We are looking for the earth to shake and lightning to flash across the sky. We are looking for a major, earth shattering event!

Yet, as can be seen in the various accounts of the resurrection, each person experienced Jesus’ resurrection in different ways. In Luke, the men traveling to Emmaus saw Jesus in a stranger passing by. They carried conversations with him, talked with him, listened to him and DID NOT recognize him. Yet, through the act of breaking bread together, they realized who he was.

Reflect on all of the times you have felt the presence of the risen Lord. Perhaps you were lonely and someone was present for you in just the right time…or perhaps you were afraid only to find that the fear had been lifted. Perhaps you were helping someone out only to find out you were the one who was helped. Remember that Elijah did not see God in the fire, or the in the earthquake, or in the raging wind…rather, it was in the sound of a gentle whisper (or the sound of sheer silence as the NRSV translates it) that God’s presence was known. This Easter, open your heart to the subtlety of the Resurrection and be transformed by it. Know that Christ is with you always, and where you go…so too Christ follows. Perhaps in you, the risen Lord will be revealed to someone else.

PRAYER

Lord, be present in me, through me and in spite of me for the transformation of this world. Amen.

Journey with Jesus: Holy Tuesday

SCRIPTURE:

Matthew 21:23 – 24:51; Mark 11:27-13:37; Luke 20:1-21:36

Matthew 231322AN EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT

Wow, and I thought yesterday was tense! I was shaking from head to toe when Jesus started to overturn those tables and was shouting like a madman! Part of me was scared that the Romans, perched in towers overlooking the Temple complex, would descend on us and crush us right then and right there. The other part of me was excited because Jesus was finally showing the zeal that we have been taught that the Messiah would have. I began to wonder if, perhaps Jesus was this Messiah…cleansing the House of God before purging Israel of her enemies.

But today Jesus started teaching really strange things! He spoke in parables that were set up to make the Pharisees look bad. He compared the Pharisees to a group of murderous farm tenants who refused to give the farm owner his due and killed anyone the farm owner sent them…including his own son! Jesus went on to flat-out curse the Pharisees and the scribes shouting, “Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you are like whitewashed tombs, which on the outside look beautiful, but inside they are full of the bones of the dead and of all kinds of filth.”

You could just feel the tension in the air. The religious leaders looked beyond mad. If looks could kill…well you know how the phrase goes. Then, Jesus questioned their knowledge of the very scriptures they are well versed in. He asked them, “Have you never read in the scriptures: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes’?” I got the real sense that he was referring to himself! Was he saying that he was going to be rejected and die? How could he be the Messiah and die? How was that even possible if the Messiah was supposed to free Israel from oppression? Why would this “Messiah” curse our religious leaders? Wouldn’t the Messiah focus his energy on Rome?

REFLECTION

What are your expectations of Jesus? Who is Jesus to you? Do you find that your “Jesus” falls in line with what you think he should be? When you hear or read Jesus’ words of chastisement, who do you envision Jesus talking to? Is he talking about “them”, or is he talking about “us”? Is he talking about “you” or is he talking about “me”?

On this Holy Tuesday, let us remember Jesus’ warnings to the religious leaders of the day. Will we continue to cross land and sea to create converts to OUR way? Will we look like we are righteous on the outside, when in reality we are dead on the inside? Will we be the ones who reject the stone only to be crushed by it? Or will we lay down OUR way and make GOD’s way the cornerstone of our faith? What is God’s way, “No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8)

PRAYER

Lord, humble me and become the cornerstone of my faith. Let me drop my religion and pick up your love, compassion and mercy in its stead. Amen.