Year B Easter Sunday John 20
Why I Believe in the Resurrection
You probably do not remember the name Nikolai Ivanovich Bukharin. During his day he was as powerful a man as there was on earth. A Russian Communist leader he took part in the Bolshevik Revolution 1917, was editor of the Soviet newspaper Pravda (which by the way means truth), and was a full member of the Politburo. His works on economics and political science are still read today. There is a story told about a journey he took from Moscow to Kiev in 1930 to address a huge assembly on the subject of atheism. Addressing the crowd he aimed his heavy artillery at Christianity hurling insult, argument, and proof against it.
An hour later he was finished. He looked out at what seemed to be the smoldering ashes of men's faith. "Are there any questions?" Bukharin demanded. Deafening silence filled the auditorium but then one man approached the platform and mounted the lectern standing near the communist leader. He surveyed the crowd first to the left then to the right. Finally he shouted the ancient greeting known well in the Russian Orthodox Church: "CHRIST IS RISEN!" En masse the crowd arose as one man and the response came crashing like the sound of thunder: "HE IS RISEN INDEED!"
I say to you this morning: CHRIST IS RISEN! (congregational response should be: HE IS RISEN INDEED!). I am convinced! I have faith that Christ was dead and he was buried. That I believe. But, this too I accept as true: He rose from the dead and will come again in glory.
This is Easter. And to stand here on this day in this pulpit and proclaim this word. . . I cannot begin to tell you how this defines all that I am.
But, you will say to me, how do you know that the resurrection is real? How do you know that it is really valid?
- Because someone told me about the Resurrection
- Because the Resurrection as stood the test of time
- Because I have experienced the Resurrection
Be Hatched or Go Bad
Christ is Risen!
Happy Easter, everyone!
"Because I live," Jesus said in John 14:19, "you also will live."
I wonder: how many of you are sitting out there, festooned in your Easter Sunday best, but your fingers are slightly stained? How many of you colored Easter eggs this weekend? I do think I can see some pinks, blues, greens, and purples shining on your fingers from all the Easter eggs you colored, hid, found, cracked, or consumed.
Take comfort in this: you are not alone. Just over one billion real eggs are dipped and dyed every Easter in America. The Dudley egg dye company sells over 10 million egg dying kits every year. No wonder we are such a colorful bunch!
Yet eggs sometimes get a bad rap at Easter. Eggs are such a widely used symbolic food. Everyone from dancing druids and pagan fertility gods to — worst of all — bored kids on Halloween, have all claimed eggs as some sort of special specimen for themselves.
The Christian use of eggs at Easter probably has roots in a host of different cultures and traditions. But there are two connections that make the "Easter egg" a powerful symbol for this miraculous morning. Jesus' final journey to Jerusalem brought him there to celebrate Pesach, Passover, in that holy city. The Last Supper was a Passover Seder. One of the ritual foods arranged on everyone's Passover plate was a hard-boiled egg, the "beitzah."
This egg symbolized the "chagigah," a ritual sacrifice made in the Temple. After the Temple was destroyed this egg also became a "mourner's" reminder. The Temple sacrifice could no longer be made, because the Temple no longer existed. In Orthodox Judaism hard boiled eggs are still offered to mourners as their first food after a funeral.