Easter is comin’ to Idaho Falls (3)

“When Jesus rose from the dead on Easter morning, he rose as the beginning of the new world that Israel’s God had always intended to make.  That is the first and perhaps the most important thing to know about the meaning of Easter. . . .

“The power that has tyrannized the old creation has been broken, defeated, overthrown.  God’s kingdom is now launched, and launched in power and glory, on earth as in heaven. . . .

“This is the real beginning of the kingdom.  Jesus’s risen person–body, mind, heart, soul–is the prototype of the new creation.  We have already seen him as the Temple in person, as the jubilee in person.  Now we see him as the new creation in person. . . .

“Here, then, is the message of Easter, or at least the beginning of that message.  The resurrection of Jesus doesn’t mean, ‘It’s all right.  We’re going to heaven now.’  No, the life of heaven has been born on this earth.  It doesn’t mean, “So there is a life after death.”  Well, there is, but Easter says much, much more than that.  It speaks of a life that is neither ghostly or unreal, but solid and definite and practical.  The Easter stories come at the end of the four gospels, but they are not about an ‘end.’  They are about a beginning.  The beginning of God’s new world.  The beginning of the kingdom.  God is now in charge, on earth as in heaven.  And God’s ‘being-in-charge’ is focused on Jesus himself being king and Lord.  The title on the cross was true after all.  The resurrection proves it.” (Simply Jesus, N.T. Wright)

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