As Easter approaches we experience the human Jesus dying on the cross and becoming the Christ we all worship. He came as God’s Word and confirmed for us what God has always been like through His Love and Grace. The life, death and resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, establishes a connection that we sometimes don’t know how to live and use.
We hate to think that we can be like Jesus, but that is exactly the message He was communicating. Richard Rohr has published recent meditations about the human and divine Jesus and how we have trouble seeing ourselves in that light. Yes, Jesus was human and divine and we just can’t plug ourselves into the divine part of Him and make it a part of us. Through the Holy Spirit we can connect with that we know is the divine and live it in our lives. Jesus is not too bashful to tell us that He expects us to connect with His divinity. That was the mission God put Him on.
Jesus tried His best to communicate this to the disciples and had to come back to them before His Ascension to finish the message He had tried so hard to instill in them. He had to do many things to be sure they got the message that it’s alright to connect with the divine in our personal ministry for the Lord. We are called to be in this together with Him forever and ever!
In John 20:11-18 we hear, “But go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
These were the instructions given to Mary Magdalene by Jesus in the garden near His tomb. Mary thought that He was the gardener at first, but soon she realized that this was Jesus speaking to her. This message sent by Jesus to the disciples, marks the beginning of the realization by them of the Resurrection.
By making it clear that His Father is our Father and that His God is our God, Jesus ties the knot on our eternal relationship with God. He is now no longer in danger and the promise is that if we turn to Him, we are in God’s care also. The beautiful part about the resurrection story is that we can make it our story today. We can have the new life that Jesus talks about.
We can participate as a receiver of the good news and as a deliverer of it like Mary in this story. We can experience the same love and grace from God as if we ourselves were there looking into the empty tomb and hearing the words from the gardener who turns out to be Jesus himself. We can run and tell others of the miracle of Christ’s ascension and His connecting us with God our Father and His Father forever.
This Christianity is an inclusive thing. We have a connection right to the top through Jesus and the Holy Spirit. No burnt offerings or other special requirements are needed. We must only turn to Him and accept His love and grace. In the business world there is something called a “golden parachute.” This is a well-funded retirement package for the highly compensated that ensures quality of life for the rest of the retiree’s life. God gives all of us a gift that ensures quality of eternal life.
My prayer for help in achieving His Will in my life is: “Father God, Thank You for being my friend for eternity. Getting to know You better every day forever is hard to get used to, but I think I’m going to like it. Thank You in Jesus’ name. AMEN.”
Robert Halsey Pine was born at Newark, Ohio in 1943. He is a graduate of Northeastern University and completed the program of Theological Education by Extention: Education for Ministry, School of Theology, the University of the South.