Saturday, April 7, 2007

Easter is for Losers.

Some dude commenting on a MySpace page said, "Easter is for losers." I winced at first. But then I thought about it. The resurrection of Jesus from death was indeed, in a sense, for losers! Take John's eyewitness account for example. The first four people or groups of people mentioned are, at least from my perspective, losers. Click HERE to read it for yourself.

Think of the first people John mentions Jesus came to after he resurrected:

A woman with a broken past.
Mary was the first to see the resurrected Jesus. A woman! That was a big deal for that patriarchical culture in the first century. Jesus really was the first and greatest liberator of women. But there’s more. Mary had a troubled past. A lot has been said about Mary Magdalene of late, mostly fictional (e.g. Lost Tomb of Jesus and DaVinci Code--see for more). Who was the real Mary? Click HERE to read it for yourself in Luke 8.

Mary had been inflicted by something really bad—demonic possession. That means she was a mess and an outcast. Jesus had healed her and from then on she was an active supporter of Jesus and the Disciples—freeing them to do ministry by helping provide money, food, etc. It was not common for a Jewish Rabbi to let women be a part of his inner circle, especially one with such a sordid past.

Ever felt like you were not good enough? Too far gone—too messed up? It’s not the well who need the doctor. Jesus resurrected and appeared to Mary first, perhaps in part so that people like Mary might know that he cares and wants to use them.

Who was the second person (or group of people in this case) that he revealed himself to?
A scared bunch of disciples.
The first word that comes to my mind when I think of the disciples' actions after Jesus' betrayal is "cowardly." Peter, the bravest of them all who had just committed to die with Jesus and even pulled a sword in the garden… denied Jesus! Once to a little girl! These guys scattered and were unheard of until news of Jesus’ resurrection. They had forgotten everything he had said multiple times about him being killed and coming back in three days. On the day Jesus fulfilled his own words, we see Peter and the rest cowering in a locked room.

Ever been scared? Ever chickened out? Ever failed to be the kind of person you said you would be? Ever thought about just quitting? Jesus made it a point to come to the disciples to give them courage and restore them and help them settle down. The word he kept saying to them was, "Peace."

And the third person to whom Jesus revealed himself?
A doubting skeptic.
I love Thomas. He’s no fool. He’s street wise. I bet he had a big brother or something--maybe he got burned before when he was younger and was always on his guard. He’s got to see things with his own eyes. When he hears this stuff about Jesus being alive, he’s thinking, “Everybody’s let the stress get to them—they’ve lost their minds. Or worse, they're trying to salvage something from this disaster.” Then Jesus shows up. Thomas does a 180.

Ever doubted this Jesus stuff? Maybe you’re doubting now. Stuff like this “Lost Tomb” theory either throws you for a loop or feeds your own previous conclusion that this Jesus stuff is all false. Jesus wants you to know the same truth for which he revealed himself to show Thomas. He is God. He will be found by those who seek him honestly with all your heart.

There is one more person John says Jesus wanted to show himself to. You have to look a little harder to see who I'm refering to. You can read it again HERE.

That person is...

I don't know about you, but I'm totally aware that I'm a loser. I've been failing since before I was old enough to say my first word. I was born a loser. Lost. So were you. If you don't think so, Jesus' message isn't for you. He said, "in order to save your life you must lose it."

So this year, I'm celebrating the fact that Jesus’ resurrection is for all of us losers!

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