Surprised? by Tony Nester

Tony Nester
Luke 24:1-53

The Easter story has a strange twist to it.

Many of us want to question the story - How can a dead man come back to life? … What exactly happened to Jesus in the tomb? … What kind of body is a resurrection-body?
But the story reverses direction and questions us: "Why do you look for the living among the dead?" (verse 5)."Why are you so slow to understand?" (verse 26)."Why are you afraid and full of doubt?" (verse 38).
Heaven expected the resurrection of Jesus but the world did not. Nor did the disciples - not one disciple stood watch at the tomb expecting Jesus' to overcome death.

Heaven is surprised at our being surprised. "What's happened to you?" - Heaven asks of our sorrow, our doubts and our unbelief.

Each of the Gospel writers wrote their Easter reports years after that first Easter. Scholars judge that Luke wrote his Gospel about 30 years after Jesus' death.

That means Luke had 30 years to ponder the Easter faith in his mind, to let it sink into his heart, and allow it to shape his soul when he wrote his Gospel-testimony that we've heard today.

Looking back he could smile at the surprise of Easter - and how Heaven invites us to doubt our doubts.

But I'll be honest - doubting our doubts doesn't happen easily for many of us - certainly not for me.

Let's take Heaven's first question: "Why do you look for the living among the dead?"

This was the question the angels or messengers (that's what the word "angel" means) asked the women who came to tomb to anoint Jesus' body with burial spices.

I can answer that question -we're used to death. We expect every life to be terminal. That's our history. That's our experience. That's our view.

Heaven is surprised we think this way.

Life is a surprise - there was no reason to expect it and the odds against life coming into existence were enormous. We keep looking for evidence of life on other planets but we've no ...

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