Saturday, April 4, 2009

April 12, 2009 - Easter Sunday

Breaking Open The Scriptures
Scriptures for April 12th – Acts 10:34-43, Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24, 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, Mark 16:1-20

1 Corinthians
Paul tells us that the most important things for us to remember about our faith are that Jesus died for our sins, He was raise on the third day. And that he appeared to those who were faithful to him and his teachings. The Risen Christ makes daily appearances, but only those who are faithful can witness his presence. Paul makes it clear that he is indeed a witness, but not because of anything that he did, but because of the grace of God. In this skeptical age, many are convinced that Jesus is not real. What does the resurrection mean to you?

There are two resurrection stories in the gospel: One in John, and this one in Mark. John focuses on the body, Mark focuses on the empty tomb. In the Mark story, there are a group of women who come to the tomb, expecting the burden of having to roll away the stone. Only to discover that the hard part is over. That is what resurrection means for us, that the hard part is over. Our sadness and suffering have not been in vain. Resurrection is not something that will happen in the distant future – it has come upon us now! Celebrate!

Questions: What does it take for any of us to realize that God is present and that Christ is risen indeed? What do you make of the difference between focal points in the two gospel accounts (John focused upon the body, Mark upon the empty tomb)? Where is your focus when you retell the story? What are the present-day implications of the Resurrection for Christians? How important is it to believe in a literal Resurrection? This is a controversial issue in some places.

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