Dear Partners in Ministry,
We all see Jesus and the Easter story through different lenses and with our own unique take on life; therefore, how do you see Jesus - the Easter Story, and the importance of living today as a gift from God?
I heard on the news today on, “Good Morning America,” Dr. Richard Besser who was reporting that researchers have developed a virus that they can implant into the white cells, the body’s own infection defense system, of someone who has terminal Leukemia. Amazingly, within 8 days these enhanced white cells of the body’s immune system were able to destroy all signs of the disease in all 5 patients in the test case. They have remained cancer free for several months and their prognosis of full recovery is good. Might we think that their perspective of a 2nd chance at life is different than ours? But isn’t that the very essence of our Easter story for those that believe Christ is Lord and remember the number of 2nd chances we have been given?
Check out the following thoughts from Dr. David Lose, a professor at Luther Seminary, in Milwaukie, Wisconsin.
“The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!’ There was also an inscription over him, ‘This is the King of the Jews.’
It’s interesting, if not surprising upon reflection, that each of the groups that mock Jesus does so in the terms that make sense to them. The religious authorities, for instance, ridicule Jesus as claiming to be a messiah yet who is unable to save himself. And now the soldiers choose not a religious term but a political one with which to mock him, again with the same refrain: ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself.’
I suppose it’s natural to make sense of events in the terms that are most familiar to us. The problem, though, is that nothing about Jesus is actually all that familiar to us. He is a messiah set on saving others, a king bent on serving rather than being served, the Son of God who does not consider his status something to be enjoyed or exploited but rather a mandate to care for others.
What do you think about when you think about these kinds of terms – Messiah, King, Savior, Son of God, Son of Man? Truth be told, we have no real categories by which to understand them. And so Luke invites another way. Rather than try to explain Jesus’ role or status, he instead tells us a story. And, in the telling this story he invites us to follow Jesus along the way, first learning who and what Jesus is by watching what he does.
And then, in time, learning who Jesus is by following not just his story but his example, conforming our life to his as we discover who he is through our own discipleship.
Messiah, King, Savior – want to know what these things mean…for both you and for the world? Come and follow.”
May we allow our resurrected Lord of Hope and all those 2nd chances that we have been given, to shine through to the world around us. Let us be a blessing to others as we give thanks and count our blessings.
Trinity Evangelical Lutheran Church of Sheraden, 3102 Sherwood Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15204 412-331-0600