Thursday, 9 April 2009

The Truth of the Resurrection

Today is Maundy Thursday and, like many more Christians, I have been to church this evening to remember the night when the Disciples were gathered together for the joyful celebration of the Passover meal. Yet Jesus was upset and then he told them why – ‘because one of you sitting at the table, sharing a meal with me in friendship, is about to betray me.’ So our service included sorrow for the times when we have, often unknowingly, let our Lord down and we left the church in quietness and in darkness (because Judas’ betrayal was at night).

However, when you read St. John’s gospel, you will find that his message is 'glory' in the whole of the weekend’s events, even in this dark hour of betrayal and especially the cross. He writes, “When Judas had left, Jesus said, ‘Now the Son of Man is seen for who he is, and God seen for who he is in him. The moment God is seen in him, God’s glory will be on display. In glorifying him, he himself is glorified – glory all around!’”

Again, in his last prayer with his Disciples before his arrest in the Garden of Gethsemane, he prays, ‘Father, it’s time. Display the bright splendour of your Son so the Son in turn may show your bright splendour. You put him in charge of everything human so he might give real and eternal life to all in his charge. And this is the real and eternal life that they know you, the one and only true God. And Jesus Christ, whom you sent, I glorified you on earth by completing right down to the last detail what you assigned me to do. And now, Father, glorify me with your very own splendour, the very splendour I had in your presence before there was a world.’(John 17)

Only John records Jesus’ saying from the cross, ‘It is finished.’ On the cross, Jesus offered himself back to the Father, to the glory that once was his. The cross is glory! But the cross was not the end, for in his resurrection and ascension Jesus revealed the source of life and offered salvation to a dying world. He is risen, with all his former glory, and alive to walk alongside each of us. There is no doubt of this wonderful living saviour when you meet a man or woman who, over the years, has drawn close to God, for you can see in them the reflection of Jesus’ glory which sheds radiance all around them. He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!

Written as part of the synchroblog sponsored by Slipstream and EAUK.


Beth said...

Great post and reminders! We just returned from our Maundy Thursday service and my 10 yr old said "that was so sad" "my heart is heavy" We hugged and are looking forward to Sunday!

Jan said...

I have just read your last three entries. I needed to read all of them for different reasons. I didn't go to our Maundy Thursday service, so I really needed to think about the time leading up to the cross. I also needed to think about being bold in my witness. Here in the south of the US, we call our area the Bible Belt, and yet so many people do not know Jesus. At school I have to be careful because we have separation of church and state. And yet there are ways to witness. Pray if you will that opportunities will come and that I will be bold.

Olive Morgan said...

Thank you, Beth. When I was asked to write about the resurrection as part of a synchronised blog on Maundy Thursday my first thought was that I couldn't do it on that day of all days. Even when I began to write I was not sure where I was going! But I was glad to have been set such a challenge because it was a good end to Maundy Thursday for me.

It was so good to hear from you too, Jan, and the situation you are in, which is very much the same here. Once when I was in the North someone asked where I came from and they said, 'Oh, the Bible Belt!' I had never heard or thought of this area in those terms, but there are several evangelical churches that could have occasioned such a label, I suppose. But, like you, we have so many who never give Jesus - or religion of any sort - a single thought. So our churches have started REinspired, by which teams of Christians go into our schools to help with Religious Education. We would be glad of your prayers for this, and we will certainly pray that the way will open up for you to witness where you are.

Sally said...

...and yet God's glory is displayed in a surprising and even shocking way!