The resurrection has consequences. It changes things. Everything. The very fabric of the universe, in fact. But, it doesn’t stop there. (!) It also changes the way we are supposed to relate to each other.
In the Gospel lesson (John 13:31-35) Jesus says that we are now to love one another “as I have loved you.” Not insignificant words, especially when you consider that he said them on the night before he died on the cross. A few days before he rose from the dead. The bar of love has been raised pretty high.
In the New Testament lesson (Revelation 21:1-6) we find that the resurrection has spread to the universe. A new earth. AND, a new heaven. (Wow. What needed renewed in heaven?)
And, in the lesson from the Acts of the Apostles we see the food prohibitions of the Hebrew Bible nullified, and the boundaries which separated Jews and Gentiles reduced to rubble. This stuns me for one principle reason: Peter announces the reversal of standing biblical law because of a vision he had and voices he heard.
By now the pastel bonnets and ties our children wore on Easter morning are…well, who knows where they are? The chocolate bunnies are eaten. The lillies are brown and sad. Our Easter sermons have been probably largely forgotten.
Easter Sunday but a distant memory.
But, the effects of resurrection are still reverberating through the cosmos, and are supposed to still be reverberating through our lives and our faith. Our churches are to be communities which demonstrate, and incarnate, what resurrection looks like.
What does resurrection mean in the face of bombings, massacres, terrorism, hurricanes, cancer, divorce, bankruptcy, racism, depression…? Those aren’t rhetorical questions. They also aren’t intellectual questions to be met with intellectual answers.
They are questions that Christian living is meant to answer. We are to show the world how resurrection shatters darkness, sin, and despair. How we are not alone. How we do not need to be afraid. How deeply we are loved. And how abundant hope is.
And, I have to say those are real questions that real people are desperately asking. It’s up to us to answer. With our lives and witness we are to show the world that the resurrection has consequences.
How with that empty tomb everything changes.