Sunday, April 12, 2009

We have been chosen to bear witness to the Resurrection of Jesus.

John 20:1-9
Early in the morning on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb where the body of Jesus had been placed. When she saw that the stone had been rolled away from the entrance, she came running to Peter and the other disciple, the one whom Jesus loved, and said, “They’ve taken the Lord from the tomb! We don’t know where they’ve put him!

Peter and the other disciple started running to the tomb. But the other disciple ran faster than Peter, and got there first. He looked inside, and saw the strips of linen cloth laying there, but he did not enter the tomb.

When Peter got there, he went in first, and saw the strips of linen, and the cloth that had covered Jesus’ face, rolled up in a place by itself. Then the disciple who got there first went into the tomb; when he saw it, he believed. Until then, both Peter and the other disciple failed to understand the meaning of the Scripture that said that Jesus must rise from death to life.

Acts 10:34, 37-43
Peter spoke to Cornelius and his household: You must have heard what has happened in Judea. It all started in Galilee, after John told everyone to be baptized. God filled Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Because God was with him, Jesus went about doing good and healing everyone who had fallen under the power of the devil.

Now I, and those who were with me can testify to what Jesus did, both in the countryside of Judea and in the city of Jerusalem. Then Jesus was put to death on a cross; but three days later, God raised him to life, and let him be seen. But not everyone saw him. He was seen only by those of us who ate and drank with him after he had been raised from the dead. We are now witnesses, chosen by God to tell His people that Jesus is the one chosen to judge the living and the dead. It is to him that all of the prophets bear witness, that all who believe in Jesus will have their sins forgiven in his name.

Colossians 3:1-4
You have been raised to true life with Christ. Now set your heart on what is in heaven, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Keep your thoughts focused on heaven, not on what is here on earth. In baptism you have died with Christ, which means that your life is now hidden with Christ in God. It is Christ who gives meaning to our life, and when he comes again, we will appear with him in glory.

Today’s Scriptures remind us that we are witnesses to all that Jesus did and said, just as Peter was when he spoke to Cornelius and his household. Easter is not like Memorial Day, or Veterans Day, or even Independence Day, merely a holiday commemorating something that happened a long time ago, but a present reality for you and me, who have been baptized into Christ Jesus. We died with Christ in baptism, so that we can live with him in newness of life through the Holy Spirit. We have been chosen to bear witness to him, not merely by our words, but by the example of our lives, not by our own power, but by the Holy Spirit dwelling within us.

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