Power to Press On
Happy Easter! Resurrection, that’s a difficult topic. Knowing resurrection is not like a knowing a computer or knowing forgiveness, resurrection, It’s hard to talk about it, no one can explain it. Maybe something that you cannot understand by explanation or visual presentation, we can never do that. Even the early Christians had difficult time explaining the resurrection, even those who experienced the resurrection had difficult time explaining that resurrection to others. First of all, the disciples met the risen Christ- Some of the disciples, but Thomas did not happen to be there. So the they tried explained to Thomas about The resurrection of Jesus Christ, but the failed they couldn’t do that, doesn’t matter what the they tried.
Seeing to Believe
They couldn’t really explain resurrection to Thomas. And this is what Thomas said, “unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe”. Unless I see it, unless I touch it, I will not be believe it, the disciples cannot really let him see it or touch it or anything like that, but next week when the risen Christ came to Thomas, he didn’t need any of what he demanded. Somehow he’s not just seeing the risen Christ. It is somehow that resurrection event happened and he believed and he made the highest confession, that is “my lord and my God” in the Gospel nobody said. Nobody said Jesus was God, They were at most able to say Jesus was the son of God. Nobody was able to say Jesus was God. But Thomas was only the first one who said, my Lord and my god.
Acceptance of Belief Without Physical Sight
So the early Christians had a difficult time explaining the resurrection and understanding the resurrection. For example, when the risen Christ came to Mary, Mary with fiscal eyes, she saw the risen Christ, but she didn’t realize that that was Christ Jesus, she didn’t even know. Another instance, two disciples were on the road to a amass and they were talking with the risen Christ. Jesus was risen and they were talking with him, but all the way to the end they were talking but didn’t know that it was Jesus who was risen. So the early Christians had difficult time explaining resurrection. So we realized that resurrection is not to be understood by seeing it, touching it, explaining it, or proving it, then I realized that maybe the resurrection is a bigger reality then what we can explain by touching it, seeing it or feeling it, is much, much bigger reality.
when you’re not able to explain it, prove it, show it, how can we accept the resurrection? That’s a big question to all of us. How can we accept the resurrection? And I realized that we don’t see the resurrection, but we see the power of resurrection. You don’t see the wind, but we see the power of the wind, so we don’t see the resurrection. We thought, but we see the power of resurrection. Then what is the power of Resurrection? I believe that it is hope. When the power of resurrection is crystallized, that is hope. Within you, you have hope, and that is a crystallization of the power of resurrection. Hope is not something that you can see because hope is something that has not happened yet, so you have hope for something which has not happened yet, so it is hard. You cannot really see, so you don’t hope for what you see. This is what Saint Paul said eloquently about hope “for in whole, we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope for who hopes for what is seen, but if we hope for what we do not see we wait for it with patience.” So hope is not for what you don’t see, I mean that’s the nature of hope. If you have a hope for tomorrow, you don’t see it tomorrow yet, so you hope for what you do not see, but amazing thing about hope is that hope makes you what you cannot see, see, somehow that’s what hooked us. hope makes you see what you cannot see.
Hope Carries On
when you suffer from illness, you don’t see healing. When you suffer from injustice, you don’t see justice. When you suffer from bondage, you don’t see freedom. You don’t see that, but you hope for what you don’t see, but then when you have hope, you start seeing healing justice and freedom. That’s why we fight for our illness, injustice around us and bondage that binds us because we see healing. we see justice and we see freedom. It is hope within us, and our hope will not be in vain. Our hope comes true as Jesus rose from the dead, and will also rise from the ashes, that was a secret of the early Christians I realized, because disciples, when they were around jesus, they were totally helpless and hopeless and incapable, they didn’t have faith. They were doubtful all the times. They always made mistakes they weren’t able to carry on. So many people might have expected that with the death of Jesus, the movement of Jesus will die too. With the death of Jesus, the purpose of Jesus will die too because the disciples would not be able to carry on. That’s what people thought, but somehow that was not the case. Somehow our history tells us that Christianity survived, that. The early disciples carried on, moved on, and even 2000 years later, here we are talking about Jesus movement. They went through so much a persecutions in difficulties, even more persecution when they were with Jesus and now without Jesus, they were able to go through the storm because they had hope. They were able to fight through the threat and crisis, because there was something within them, and that something within them was hope, hope for the Kingdom of God. Hope for the better world, they had that hope and that hope carried them. That’s why Christianity was able to survive. He’s a very small movement. Few people at the most, few hundred people in the beginning and they were able to carry on. That is a power of resurrection.
Press On, Don’t let Belief Die
Today we read words from St Paul. This is what he said. I want to read it again for you. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection. I want to know it. I want to know the power of Resurrection, and he said, “and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death. If somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead, not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal, but I press on to make it my own because Christ Jesus happened, and has made me”. So here, very clear picture, He wants to know the power of resurrection and then he will have hope and that hope will carry him so that he could press on. Paul knew the power of resurrection, he didn’t see the resurrection, but he saw the power of Resurrection, he has strong hope and that was why he could press on, my friends. You won’t see the body of resurrected Christ. Even if you see him in your dream, it won’t help you much because the resurrection, the resurrection can not become real by what you see. But as you believe in God, the power of resurrection impregnated.
When you believe in God, the power of resurrection will be impregnated and the hope will be impregnated and then hope will start moving within you like a baby moving in your body. For those who are pregnant, they experienced, they know what it means to have baby moving in their tummy in the same way, the hope moves within you, the power of resurrection is not what you achieve, the scripture never says that Jesus rose from the dead by himself. No. Jesus did nothing about resurrection. Jesus did nothing he just died. And the scripture says, God raised him from the dead. Jesus only had hope, but God raised him from the dead using the hope that Jesus had with him. The power of resurrection is not what you accumulate within you. The power of resurrection is not something that you can get from the world. The power of resurrection is what God gives you, when you trust in God. Harvey Cox, a professor at Harvard University. He wrote many famous books like secular city and so on, and he said this “when I was in prison during civil rights movement, young black men or captured with me and in the neighborhood cell, when Harvey heard the young black men crying out, singing, we shall overcome. That was when I was most cruelly sure about the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” When we heard that shouting, screaming and singing, we shall overcome. That’s when he was sure about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Resurrection is not somewhere out there. Resurrection is right here. I’m allowed to sing with us. We are living in a very sad world. Just last week you heard about the bombing in Belgium. We are living in the world of greed, violence, inequality, anger, apathy and meaninglessness, all kinds of discriminations and prejudice. We can easily be victims of the world around us, but let us not leave ourselves powerless victims of this world. You are better than that. I hope that you don’t just become powerless, meaningless victim of this world. If you only think about your own survival, in my opinion, as a victim, that’s a victim mentality. If you only think about yourself, in my opinion, that’s a victim. The people who have hope in them, they will press on to make justice, to make this world better a world, and God will let the power of resurrection work within them. It is not what I do. It is what God does. The power of resurrection make us living, makes us live a meaningful life, not just for myself, for the others around us.