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Sunday, April 24, 2011

Resurrection and Reconciliation

Christ has Risen!

Let us reflect on the miracle of Christ's resurrection--a resurrection that reconciled us to God the Father in a way that we could never have done for ourselves.

You see, I know I have messed up in my life. I may not have killed anybody or committed grand theft auto, but I know I have hurt people, both intentionally and unintentionally. Sure, I am basically a good person when I am well rested and not pressed for time, but I have lied when cornered, and wished ill for someone when I wanted to get ahead. I have thought I was better than so-and-so at such-and-such. I have had thoughts in my heart that I wouldn't want to share with my closest friends, let alone a holy powerful God, in any sort of intimate way.

And I know God loves me profoundly, but He also loves the people I have been disrespectful to, or have been scornful of. And He kinda wishes I hadn't done those hurtful things to His children and He would like it if I would make it right with them.

If only there were a way that I could apologize for all of those things, or pay some sort of compensation, so that when I saw God in heaven, I wouldn't be so embarrassed. Some way that when He reflects on the times I have been cruel to my siblings on earth, I could say "yeah, but I did X hours of community service to make up for it!"

But how many hours would be enough? And what happens when, as soon as I finish them, I have another angry outburst at my husband, or become jealous of my next door neighbor. And so I have to compensate for those new hurts too...Ad nauseum. There are simply not enough hours in a day, or days in a lifetime to keep covering my tracks.

Enter scene: Jesus. A guy with all the love of the Father, but all the personal experience of the struggles here on earth. He lived His life without accumulating a list of errors and oops that we all collect, which meant that by the time He died, He had no apologies to make, no compensation He needed to pay for His wrong-doings. He could stand before God, totally unhindered and unembarrassed.

Yet when the time came, He reflected on my failed attempts to apologize for myself, and said to God "blame me for the things she has done. Treat her as though she had lived her life perfectly, and let me spend the rest of eternity writing her apology notes, and repaying the hurts she caused. Let us trade places in Your eyes so that she need not feel the weight of her mistakes, but instead can enjoy her time with You, totally guilt free."

And so that is what they did: Jesus took the blame, and I got the promise that, if I want to, I can spend the rest of my existence enjoying an uninhibited relationship with the One who knows me, and loves me, the best.

Reconciliation: With one hand,
He holds to the Father,
and with the other, he holds to us
as we make the journey
Jesus, in the mean time, is a lot stronger, faster, and more powerful than I am. He managed to take the blame for my issues, and deal with all of the consequences of my mistakes, yet sill make it home in time for Easter dinner. Not only mine, but everyone elses's as well.

Without any mistakes of His own, and having the power and wisdom of the Father, He was ideally suited to take care of business. So much so, that having accomplished it, He too can now stand before God, unhindered and unembarrassed. It was His resurrection that demonstrated this ability, this power, to accomplish what I could not do on my own.

It is this miracle that we celebrate on Easter. It is this trading-places that makes me eternally grateful. It is why I follow Him, and try to take His advice on how to live my life. It was on the first Easter that Jesus reconciled us to God, so that we need not feel shame, regret, or humiliation, only bathe in God's love and caring:

 "But now He has reconciled you by Christ's physical body through death to present you holy in His sight, without blemish and free from accusation" (Colossians 1:22) 

"All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation." (2 Corinthians 5:18-19)

Sisters and brothers, now that we have vertical reconciliation with God, let us work for horizontal reconciliation with each other: "Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven." We must continue to Stand in the tragic gap, between what is and what could be. We must remember how Jesus forgave even as He was on the Cross, and learn to forgive one another, be reconciled to one another.

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By Their Strange Fruit by Katelin H is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
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