Saturday, April 14, 2007

Sunday Devotional - Body Talk

The resurrection of Christ – the bodily resurrection of Jesus – is central to our faith. If Christ’s body hadn’t been resurrected by God, then only His Spirit would have been raised. That happened to Samuel way back in the Old Testament when King Saul got the witch of Endor (1 Samuel 28) to raise his spirit from the land of shadows. If it was just Christ’s spirit alone that had been raised, then God would not have been doing anything new.

But the Gospels make it clear that it was Christ’s body that was raised from death. And this sets Christ apart from any other human being in history. This is what makes Him uniquely our Lord and Savior. This is what puts Him above all the other historic religious leaders – Christ was raised from the dead – body and all. This is also what the first Christians believed, causing them to be persecuted and martyred for the faith.

Easter is a beautiful time of year, not just because it is full of new life all around us in creation, but because a human body that was mutilated, maimed, and murdered was raised to life again. This is what we mean when we say “I believe in the resurrection of the body,” and this is what Christ Himself means when He says to Thomas, "Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe." (John 20:27)

If we say and believe otherwise, then we’re calling Christ and the Gospel writers liars. Maybe in our Presbyteries, we need to ask ministerial candidates a new, but essentially an old question: do you believe in the bodily resurrection of Jesus?

Prayer: Lord Jesus, we can get trapped into thinking that our own thinking is more sophisticated, knowledgeable, and superior to the first Gospel writers. We forget that they were heavily influenced by people who had first-hand experiences of all that You expressed. Guide us with Your sacred words. In Your Holy Name, we pray. Amen.


John Shuck said...

Prayer: Lord Jesus, protect us from those who think their way of understanding your mystery is the only way. Amen.

Stushie said...

Does that include the Jesus Seminar group, John?