Monday, 18 December 2017

Forty days that really changed the world

WHAT did Jesus do after he came back to life?

WHAT did Jesus do after he came back to life?

There are those well-known stories about how Mary and the disciples went to the tomb and found there was no body.

But the next day and the day after that? How do you behave when you’re alive forever?

The Bible tells us that for about 40 days he kept appearing to various friends in various places.

The 40 days before Easter we call Lent and it’s because Jesus spent that amount of time in the desert working out what his life was meant to be.

And so we give up things — sugar in coffee, chocolate, television — because we have the feeling that it’s good for us.

But the 40 days after Easter, the time between Jesus’ resurrection and his journey back to Heaven, we don’t really call anything and we don’t really do anything with it either.

Strange because it was those 40 days that changed the face, first of Jerusalem, then gradually the whole of the Middle East and beyond, because the men and women who had seen him alive and free from death forever spread out into the world in their excitement and joy to tell other people about the wonderful thing God had done.

But what did he do with this time before his Ascension? Well, he visited his friends, he ate meals with them, he cooked meals for them, he walked with them and he talked with them, explaining all that had gone on.

And, yes, he enjoyed their company; they were after all, his friends that he’d spent a lot of time with.

Death didn’t change that bond. The Bible tells us that he was seen by more than 500 people during those few short weeks.

What would we have expected him to do? Something earth-shattering perhaps! After all, the earth shook when he died, so there could have been rainbows and thunderstorms wherever he went, couldn’t there? Those Romans would really have had to take notice then, wouldn’t they?

But he just went on as he had before, walking and talking, visiting and sharing meals. He turned up when they didn’t expect him. God, part of the family.

Actually he still does turn up. He still comes when we least expect him and shares life with his friends and walks and talks with us. God, part of our family.

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