Resurrection Sunday!

Sam Mahlstadt —  April 8, 2012 — 1 Comment

He is risen!

The first Easter marked the firstfruits, or a foreshadowing, of the great Resurrection that will come one day.

The implications of this is huge, of course, as the resurrection of Jesus broke in a new reality for his followers. We understand that with the first resurrection, we are living in the now but not yet.

The eternal life is now, and we are invited to participate in that life. And the great Resurrection will come, and Christ will finish the work of redemption we’ve been called into. But we can wait, even in this fallen world, with a great hope. For he is risen!

Today, on Easter Sunday, we are blessed to know that God sent his only son to take on our burden, but that he also left it in the grave.

The tomb is empty.

He is risen!

This is the final post of a series of daily reflections on the season of Lent.

I have noticed in myself, and in the American church, the tendency to glance at the cross, bypass the tomb, and skip to Resurrection.

There is no resurrection if we don’t first acknowledge the bloody death on the cross and the burial in the tomb.

Yes, the first Easter was the most important moment in human history. We are set right. We have been redeemed. The price has been paid. We are sons and daughters of God.

As we work out our salvation in trembling, it’s important to keep in perspective that we must first die, and be buried, before we can rise again. That is why we act out the death and burial by submerging ourselves in water before we break the surface of that same water a new creature, washed and made new.

So today, after we acknowledged His death on Good Friday, and are waiting for the resurrection to come, may we remember the tomb. The power of the resurrection is truly felt when we’ve allowed ourselves to weep over the tomb.

Some of the greatest lyrics on this season and process of our generation:

Though the Earth Cried out for blood
Satisfied her hunger was
Her billows calmed on raging seas
for the souls on men she craved

Sun and moon from balcony
Turned their head in disbelief
Their precious Love would taste the sting
disfigured and disdained

On Friday a thief
On Sunday a King
Laid down in grief
But awoke with keys
Of Hell on that day
The first born of the slain
The Man Jesus Christ
Laid death in his grave

So three days in darkness slept
The Morning Sun of righteousness
But rose to shame the throes of death
And over turn his rule

Now daughters and the sons of men
Would pay not their dues again
The debt of blood they owed was rent
When the day rolled a new

On Friday a thief
On Sunday a King
Laid down in grief
But awoke holding keys
To Hell on that day
The first born of the slain
The Man Jesus Christ
Laid death in his grave

On Friday a thief
On Sunday a King
Laid down in grief
But awoke with keys
Of Hell on that day
The first born of the slain
The Man Jesus Christ
Laid death in his grave

He has cheated
Hell and seated
Us above the fall
In desperate places
He paid our wages
One time once and for all

This is a part of a series of daily reflections on the season of Lent.

Now the LORD God had planted a garden in the east, in Eden; and there he put the man he had formed. The LORD God made all kinds of trees grow out of the ground—trees that were pleasing to the eye and good for food. In the middle of the garden were the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil…The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it.

Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane, and he said to them, “Sit here while I go over there and pray.” He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee along with him, and he began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then he said to them, “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch with me.”

At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid.

On this Good Friday, may we reflect on, and join in, the suffering of the savior of the world. Our God, who created the heavens and the earth with his breath, stooping in love, crucified by the Roman Empire on a cross. He took on our transgressions so that we may be called sons and daughters of God.

This is a part of a series of daily reflections on the season of Lent.

Maundy Thursday

Sam Mahlstadt —  April 5, 2012 — Leave a comment

A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.

This is a part of a series of daily reflections on the season of Lent.

Jesus and Justice

Sam Mahlstadt —  April 4, 2012 — Leave a comment

Spending the day today on the campus of Drake University representing The Move Project.

Pretty fitting in this season of Lent, engaging in the depravity of man as evidenced in the continuation of slavery.

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This is a part of a series of daily reflections on the season of Lent.