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15th April 2018 - Third Sunday of Easter B

posted 14 Apr 2018, 07:47 by Veronica Yarwood


 

Messy and ugly. No other words for it. Jesus dies a

messy, ugly death in a messy ugly place. There is

nothing glamorous about Golgotha. There is no

glamour on Golgotha. Imagine the stench There

must be a stench about the place. The stench of

violent death. The stench of triumphalism. The

stench of despair. An aw-ful, bloody place!

And Peter? Peter blames ignorance. "Neither you

nor your leaders had any idea what you were really

doing." The same goes for us. Blame our

ignorance. We had no idea what we were really

doing.

And Jesus rises. Jesus rises in triumph. Out of the

mess and the ugliness, the death, stench and violence.

Out of the corruption and despair Jesus rises, in

triumph, in glory, victorious. Note his post‑

resurrection body. It still bears the scars. And

Jesus says to US, "See my hands and my feet."

So our Risen Lord is no phantom. Our Risen Lord

is no ghost. The Jesus who rises is the Jesus who

 

has died on the cross on the cross. So we note and

note well, because it is crucial: our Christian faith is

founded on historical fact. Christianity is an

historical religion. It happened, is happening and

will continue. Our religion is no dream ticket. Our

religion is historical and it is for real.

A necessary part of God's plan the cross was no

emergency measure when all else had failed. The

cross is the reality, the really real reality of God's

eternal love for us. On the cross we see the reality,

of God's eternal love for us and everyone and every

thing.

In a messy, ugly place God's love shines through. It

was the scars on Jesus' body which helped the

disciples recognise him. They must be the

identifying marks of Our Lord for us. Because

sometimes our world can be a very messy, ugly

place. There is, after all, very little glamour in

broken relationships, addiction, poverty, abuse,

suicide and despair. These Golgothas leave scars but

these very scars can become badges of victory.

These scars can become signs of encouragement and

hope, signs of resurrection.

 

The disciples leave the upper room enthused,

confident and full of hope. So may our trials keep us

strong, our sorrows keep us human and our failures

keep us humble. May our hope keep us happy and

our enthusiasm keep us looking forward. May our

faith banish depression, our wealth meet our needs

and our friends give us comfort. And may we have,

in the Risen Lord, determination to make each day a

little better than yesterday.

 

 

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