There’s no doubt about it; the death of Jesus was unexpected, and although he gave quite a few hints that it would happen, the disciples either didn’t believe him, or just didn’t want to. And when it did finally happen, it left the disciples in a state of shock and dismay that they wouldn’t have recovered from had it not been for what happened next. For if Jesus’ death was unexpected, his resurrection was doubly so … or was it?

 

It seems to me as I read through some of Jesus’ most well-known miracles that resurrection followed him around. The raising of Lazarus and Jairus’ daughter, the restoration of sight to the blind, of mobility to the paralysed, the cleansing of diseases both of body and mind. They were more than just healings by some kind of miracle worker from Nazareth; they were the unexpected moments of resurrection that invariably came when the afflicted chose to put their faith in Christ. If Jesus stood for anything in his life, it wasn’t for death, but the limitless possibilities of resurrection.

As we draw close to Easter it is natural for us to concentrate on Jesus’ death, the sacrifice he made and the mind-blowing grace of God. Yet we must also remember the resurrection, and not just as a happy after thought to welcome in Easter Day safe in the knowledge that Jesus was ‘alright in the end’. Rather, that this was the very heart of what Jesus was all about. His death would have been empty without the resurrection, as empty as the disciples felt as they wandered aimlessly without their master. The whole point of Jesus’ ministry was not to die on the cross, but to be raised from it, however unexpected. We are not a people confined to death, but set free by the resurrection of Christ Jesus. Therefore, let us not live as a people pinned to a cross; but as people set free by the possibility of resurrection.

In Christ, Tim