Life Goes On…After Resurrection (My Redeemer Lives 7:1)

It confounded me when I was a young adult, someone newly interested in my Bible, trying to find the beginning and the end of it.

I could find the first page of Genesis and the last page of Revelation (sort of), but I didn’t understand how the middle fit. I didn’t get why so much happened before Jesus came and why so much happened after Jesus rose.

A whole new level of confounding came in when I would flip to the end of the Gospels and expect to find the resurrection. It seemed like every Gospel should clearly begin with Mary’s pregnancy or Jesus’ birth and end with an empty tomb and an angel proclaiming,

“He is risen!”

to which the disciples responded, “He is risen indeed! Alleluia!”

The End.

Tidy.

Instead, when we open the Gospel accounts we actually find more to the story.

We find a whole lot of life…after the Resurrection.

Feel free to open your Bibles to the Gospels with me as we go through an overview of the final chapters of each one — Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John — to see all the Life.

Matthew keeps it pretty neat. In the last chapter of Matthew, Matthew 28, we find a brief resurrection narrative witness. Then we get a little bit more in the form of an interchange between the Romans guards, who witnessed the resurrection reality that was Jesus of Nazareth, and the Jewish leaders who paid them to spread a lie that the disciples stole the body to make it look like resurrection. (Wow. Just wow.) Then Matthew also shares an account of the disciples receiving the Great Commission from the Risen Christ. So, it doesn’t really end with the resurrection at all. It concludes with a mountaintop, eleven guys worshiping, and the Resurrected Jesus teaching.

Mark, who I like to call the fast-forward Gospel writer, doesn’t end with the resurrection either even though He likes to keep things relatively short and succinct. Mark’s final chapter, Mark 16, has the account of Christ’s resurrection, actually two accounts of Christ’s resurrection, then adds a very brief, two-verse, account of Jesus’ appearance to two disciples in particular, and his own witness of the Great Commission.

Luke does not disappoint with his last chapter, Luke 24, dedicated to Christ’s resurrection followed by the witness of the account of the Risen Jesus on the road to Emmaus, Jesus appearing yet again to teach His disciples, and the Ascension, when Jesus returns to heaven. If you didn’t have the crucifixion and death of Jesus in Luke 23 preceding, these accounts would look a whole lot like life as usual.

We can’t forget John, the beloved disciple. John blesses us with not one chapter of post-resurrection witness, but two. John 20 holds two accounts of the resurrection itself, followed by Jesus’ tender interactions with Thomas and His disciples, a proclamation that Jesus did way too much to even try to write down, and then John continues into John 21 with what I lovingly like to think of as “Life’s a Beach with Jesus!”

John ends his gospel with one of the verses that makes me particularly fond of him, John 21:25 —

 Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

John wants to assure us that this isn’t the whole story, again. John is likely referring to the entirety of Jesus’ time here on earth, but because he repeats it twice, earlier in John 20:30-31 and here in John 21:25, I am prone to believe that he is also applying this to the Resurrected Jesus.

If life goes on after Jesus’ resurrection, with Jesus’ presence here on this earth, then what was He doing? Life goes on…but what for?

Jesus was eating.

There is a lot of eating after the resurrection if you ask me. Maybe I notice it because I like food, but there are definitely fish on the beach and breaking bread after walking to Emmaus.

Fun fact: there are sects of people who believe that Jesus didn’t eat, and some who don’t even believe He was in a physical body after the resurrection.

Not a fun fact: Do not let people steal your hope like that! This is what happens when we chip away at the Gospel and make it into what we want to hear. The Bible tells us that there is a feast with our Savior to come like we cannot even begin to imagine. The disciples had a foretaste of this during those 40 days, and we get a foretaste of it every time we take Communion at His altar together. Why would we want to miss the hope of a Savior who eats with us?

By Jesus eating with His disciples, and with us at the table of His Supper, we are filled with Hope that God has a plan for us and a big plan written with eternity in mind.

Life goes on and eating is part of life…after the Resurrection.

Jesus was teaching and talking.

The disciples were listening. I’m guessing they were so hungry for one more day with the Lord after they “lost” Him that they could hardly get enough.

We have the opportunity to gather around His Word too! Let us be hungry for it, for one more day in the presence of what He has to share with us. Let’s run to worship to learn and be taught. Let’s get in Bible study and grow through hard conversations and reminders of life and hope. Let’s go and teach and talk and have those same hard conversations in unconventional places to witness His Word to this world.

Life goes on and His Word goes out…after the Resurrection.

Jesus witnesses and gives witness.

Jesus witnesses to the disciples the truth of Who He is and what God is doing through Him. He tells the disciples what happened at points x, y, and z through the prophecies of the Old Testament to the fulfilling of them in the New Testament (Luke 24:27). He witnesses to them about love and about grace and what those things really are according to His Word and His Sacrifice. He prepares the disciples for what is to come for them and encourages, encourages, and encourages. He spends time with them, teaches, and shares more conversation with them, giving them more to share of His life-giving Spirit.

Life goes on, ministry goes on…after the Resurrection.

We remember the words of John again from John 21:25 —

Now there are also many other things that Jesus did. Were every one of them to be written, I suppose that the world itself could not contain the books that would be written.

The world can’t hold Him, our Savior Jesus—isn’t that glorious! But yet, we are each witnesses to all He does in this life that goes on in our time and place…after the Resurrection.

You can download this Scripture card and one for every day of the week at PureJoyCreative.com.

Don’t forget this week’s Bible margin to help you reflect as you study.

Join the discussion by sharing your thoughts and insights in the comments here and on social media.

Catch the week seven video here:

Waking, Sleeping, and Sleepwalking

Downloadable Video Viewer Guide

Rest in the Resurrection (My Redeemer Lives 5:5)

Today, I invite you to rest.

Rest in knowing that God has had a plan since the Creation of the World. Jesus was in that plan. You were in that plan and He will always, always bring His prophecies and His plans to fulfillment.

Rest in all the places in His Word where God points us to His Son, to His Resurrection Redemption, and to His Restoration path.

Remember that Resurrection is His very name.

Remember that our waiting is not in vain. He is coming. He is not tarrying. He has the perfect timeline.

Remember that He is a Great, Big, Powerful, Mighty Resurrection God. He sits on His throne in heaven, rules in our lives, but His name is Love. His throne is mercy.

What promises from this past week stuck with you the most?

Rest in these Truths today.

Did you miss the video?

You can still catch Prophecies Can’t Get Much Cooler at the link below:

 

Downloadable Video Viewer Guide

His Name is Resurrection (My Redeemer Lives 5:1)

About a year ago, I wrapped up a bright green onesie to send to a friend.

When I say bright green, I mean bright green. It was the color of a green M&M, the color of baby fresh grass with a whisper of dew. It was the color of life.

Then a few weeks later, life stopped. My friend texted and said that our sweet baby boy had died. She delivered a 9 lb, 9 oz beautiful baby boy, who would never breath our fresh air, never get first teeth, never learn to wobble walk in the way that toddlers do. It was painful and hard.

And all I could think about was that silly onesie. I felt like a terrible person, sending bright green where there should only be black. Thankfully, my friend felt differently. She saw life and I sometimes wonder if that’s why this was her road and not my own. God gave her the ability to look in and see fresh, green, and life in Jesus, where I had missed it.

Sebastian’s funeral was a tear-filled celebration of LIFE! Gen and Geof and their endearing and bold pastor collective made sure of it.

Because we are people of the resurrection.

Jesus’ very name is Resurrection.

To grasp the meaning wrapped in this, let’s read John 11 in its entirety. It’s a long one, but it is 57 verses of death-to-life, waiting-to-fulfillment awesomeness that we would not want to miss. Read first and then move through some of the highlights with me below.

“Lord, he whom you love is ill.” (John 11:3) 

Jesus loves. In a story of death, sometimes this is the easiest thing to lose sight of. Jesus loved Lazarus as a child of God, and He loved him deeply as a friend. John 15:15 tells us that we are also called friend, by Jesus. Jesus loves.

But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4) 

Is it possible that God sees things differently than we do? Yes, of course it is, but it’s hard to focus on that when you’re struggling with loss. We need friends to remind us that Jesus seems to skip over the reality of death entirely here. As believers, we live in a reality that my friend Genevieve understood with sweet Sebastian more than I was ready to recognize. Death is nothingness to believers. The saying may go, “Life sucks and then you die.” For believers, the saying is more appropriately, “Life sucks and then…resurrection!” All roads lead to glory for the believers of Christ Jesus. In my loss, in each of our losses, the end result is always glory to the Savior of the World. We wouldn’t flippantly gloss over someone’s loss, of course not. Jesus doesn’t do that either. He recognizes truth with His statement in John 11:4, and then we see Jesus moved to tears in John 11:34-35, physical weeping alongside His brothers and sisters in Christ.

So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. (John 11:6) 

Now when Jesus came, he found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb four days. (John 11:17)

Two days, four days, even 20 minutes can seem like an eternity in loss. The thing that sticks out most for me in the account of Lazarus’s resurrection is all the waiting. Mary and Martha waited for Jesus, who stayed two days longer after being told of Lazarus’s illness. The sisters had to endure waiting to see what would happen with Lazarus’s illness. Lazarus had to wait and endure his own illness. Even after Lazarus died, the sisters waited four days for Jesus to arrive on the scene.

Martha said to Jesus, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died. (John 11:21)

More waiting…these women who followed Jesus knew He held the power of life and death. When you know God can do something and He chooses not to, that feels hard and the waiting can easily be filled with what feels like harsh air and anger. In John 11:24 Martha attests that she knows all about the resurrection of the dead on the last day, that she never questioned it; what she questioned was God’s way of going about it for her brother. Isn’t this so often the case for us? We trust in God’s overall plan, but wonder why we fit in the way we do and what that means for His goodness and His love for us.

When he had said these things, he cried out with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out.” (John 11:43)

Notice that I skipped John 11:25-42– eighteen verses of waiting. God rarely has instant answers and resurrection is the same. All the good stuff comes in its time, in His time. When we are stuck with waiting in the meantime, we can rest in John 11:25:

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live…”

Yes. He is the Resurrection and the Life. We live outside of what we can understand and know sometimes, and death especially is what we do not know and hard to understand. Sebastian is missed by many of us here on this earth. We would rather have seen him crawl, listened to his babble, and corrected his schoolwork, but Jesus’ name is Resurrection and Life. Green is the perfect color for that little man. He knows Life in a way that we can only imagine and we have been called to wait. His Savior is our Savior.

Jesus is Resurrection itself. He is Life itself.

He is all things good and right. Sometimes that’s all the truth we have to share and the rest we lay at His feet…and wait.

You can download this Scripture card and one for every day of the week at PureJoyCreative.com.

Don’t forget this week’s Bible margin to help you reflect as you study.

Join the discussion by sharing your thoughts and insights in the comments here and on social media.

Catch the week five video here:

Prophecies Can’t Get Much Cooler: Prophecy and Resurrection

Downloadable Video Viewer Guide