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Thursday, March 23, 2017

Making Eggs Fly

The resurrection of Jesus is the core of our faith, yet it could be argued that we don’t talk that much about it. Each Easter we roll out some familiar songs and perhaps buy a new shirt or dress. Just one Sunday a year to celebrate the resurrection doesn’t seem sufficient. Paul said, “If Christ is not raised, then our faith is in vain.” We know this is critically important. You’ve heard the definition of insanity: Continuing to do the same thing but expecting a different result. Perhaps the level of transformation we see in ourselves and in those around us is not what we long for because we are not living daily the implications of the resurrection. 

In another place Paul said,
Philippians 3:8, 10–11 (ESV) Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord . . .  that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.
Can you describe your daily experience as knowing the power of Jesus’ resurrection? I can’t;  not all the time. Our experience would look radically different if we knew Jesus in this way, in the midst of our real lives. We need more time, more than once a year, to think about the greater implications of the resurrection.

We need fresh thinking about the fundamentals. We need the Biblical equivalent of what Vince Lombardi is reported to have said at the beginning of camp each year for his professional players, “Men, this is a football.” For believers, that may be these words from the angels spoken to the terrified disciples at the tomb, “He is risen!” Or maybe Mary Magdalene’s announcement a little later, “I have seen the Lord!”

To help us grasp that what God seeks to do in us is a transformation requiring resurrection power, I’ve titled our Easter series from a quote by C.S. Lewis. He said,
It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird: it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg. We are like eggs at present. And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg. We must be hatched or go bad.
What God is doing in us, and what we are seeking to encourage one another to do, will be impossible in our own strength, no more effective than teaching an egg to fly. Our Easter series is called, “Teaching Eggs to Fly: Why the Resurrection Must Change Us.” This Sunday’s message is a kind of preparation before we get into four views of the resurrection in the following Sundays. It’s called Foolishness vs. God’s Will from Ephesians 5:17-21. 
I’m starting the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus early this year. Will you join me?

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