Awaiting Test Results
Christopher B. Harbin
Psalm 16; John 20:19-31; Acts 2:22-32; 1 Peter 1:3-9
At some point, several of you told me you were awaiting test results. Doctors were awaiting to offer diagnosis or treatment until lab results came in. We await the scoring of tests in school. We await results of applications for college, employment, or financial assistance of some kind. We are often caught in this waiting game. On some issues, however, we do not really have to await evaluation, even while we are being tested. The proof is already in the pudding. Do we fool ourselves about where we stand in terms of God's satisfaction with our faithfulness?
When we look at passages on Jesus' resurrection, it is easy to get sidetracked into lesser issues. We wonder about Jesus' body. How was it transformed? It can appear in the midst of a locked room, eat bread and fish, drink wine, speak, and disappear at will. It is no longer in the tomb, yet it is no longer the body that Jesus had prior to the crucifixion. The wounds are somehow healed, yet still open and visible. For all our concerns over Jesus' body, that is a side-issue that would derail us.
We wonder why the disciples had such a hard time grasping that Jesus would and did rise from death as victor over the power of sin and death. The gospels, after all, tell us repeatedly that Jesus told them ahead of time that he had to die and rise again. It is hard to imagine that they would not have understood all the times he told them of his imminent death, even after Thomas observed to the rest "Let us go with him that we might die together." The need for Jesus to die was not the issue, however, nor the knowledge of the facts of his resurrection.
The resurrection news is really only a marker--it is a pointer to the real issue, if we could but grasp it. It is central to all Christian theology and the New Testament, but the facts are not the focus. It is the import of those facts that need to take ce ...
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