Mark D. Roberts: Because of the Resurrection – an Easter postscript, part 2

April 23, 2015

This is a follow up entry to the Easter Quote we posted yesterday, by Presbyterian pastor Mark D. Roberts

Because of the resurrection, we reverence the cross.

Because of the resurrection, the cross is one of the best known symbols in the world.

Because of the resurrection, what was once the sign of horrific death is now a sign of life and hope.

Because of the resurrection, the death of Jesus is remembered, cherished, even celebrated.

Because of the resurrection, the Stations of the Cross lead, not to death, but to life.

Because of the resurrection, we are reborn into a living hope.

Because of the resurrection, we know that we too will live anew.

Because of the resurrection, everything is different.

Because of the resurrection, new life has begun.

Christ is risen!

He is risen, indeed!

From a 2011 devotional by Mark D. Roberts


Easter Quotes – Mark D. Roberts: Without the Resurrection, An Easter Postscript

April 22, 2015

During the fourteen days prior to Easter, I was reflecting on the Stations of the Cross in preparation for a deeper experience of the reality of Jesus’ death, and therefore a greater celebration of his resurrection. Today, on the Monday after Easter, I want to add an Easter postscript.

Without the resurrection, the cross of Jesus really wouldn’t matter much.

Without the resurrection, we’d never have known about Jesus’ prayer on the Mount of Olives, where he submitted to the will of his Heavenly Father.

Without the resurrection, Judas’ betrayal of Jesus would have been long forgotten.

Without the resurrection, the Sanhedrin who condemned Jesus would have been seen as largely correct in their estimation of him as a blasphemer who needed to be silenced.

Without the resurrection, Peter’s denial of Jesus might seem like a judicious way to preserve his own life.

Without the resurrection, we’d probably never have heard the name of Pontius Pilate, unless we happened to take a class in Jewish history in the Roman Period.

Without the resurrection, the fact that Jesus was scourged and crowned with thorns would seem to be a sad but fitting end to one who pretended to usher in the kingdom of God.

Without the resurrection, Jesus would have been one more nameless individual who took up his cross on the way to dying a cruel death.

Without the resurrection, Simon of Cyrene would have disappeared into the dust of history.

Without the resurrection, the women who mourned for Jesus would have continued to mourn for a long, long time . . . not for only two days.

Without the resurrection, most of us would know very little about crucifixion, unless we had seen the movie Spartacus. (Of course there would be no Passion of the Christ film.)

Without the resurrection, the promise of Jesus to the thief, that he would join Jesus in Paradise, would seem like a bad, sad joke.

Without the resurrection, the presence of Jesus’ mother at the cross would be painful in the extreme, without a hint of meaning or hope.

Without the resurrection, the cross would be largely forgotten, and it would not appear on millions of buildings or around millions of necks.

Without the resurrection, the tomb would have been the final resting place of Jesus, until his body was exhumed so his bones could be placed in a ossuary (box for bones).

Without the resurrection, there would be no Stations of the Cross.

Without the resurrection, there would be no Christian church.

Without the resurrection, there would be no assurance of salvation.

Without the resurrection, there would be no reason to hope.

Without the resurrection, there would be only death.

From a 2011 Easter Devotional by Presybterian Pastor Mark D. Roberts


Easter Quotes – The Practice of Resurrection (Eugene Peterson)

April 16, 2015

Practice-of-Resurrection

Graphic and quote from: Embrace the God Life

This is a wonderful quote to help us DELIBERATELY continue celebrating Jesus’ resurrection during the 50 days of Eastertide and beyond:

The practice of resurrection is an intentional, deliberate decision to believe and participate in resurrection life, life out of death, life that trumps death, life that is the last word, Jesus life.

-Eugene Peterson, Practice Resurrection

I’ve been reflecting the past 24 hours or so once again on what it means to “Practice Resurrection” – those famous words from Wendell Berry’s Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front which happen to make an excellent slogan for those of us wanting to celebrate the full 50 days of Eastertide.  I find Eugene Peterson’s words above timely and helpful because they specifically point us to Jesus.  “Practice Resurrection” can in some circles be watered down to “Celebrate Spring” “Be Creative” “Try Something New”  etc etc…  I hope those of us exhorting ourselves and others to “Practice Resurrection” this Eastertide will keep Jesus at the center of our celebration.  It’s not just some abstract idea of resurrection we’re celebrating, but Jesus Christ’s physical resurrection from the dead and the difference He makes for our lives and the world.

I hope to have some more thoughts about what that means and looks like in the coming days.  Stay tuned.  And DO keep practicing resurrection – choosing to deliberately unite yourself to Christ, counting yourself dead to sin and alive to God through Jesus (Rom 6:11), today and always…


Easter Quotes: NT Wright – The Message of Easter

April 14, 2015

“The message of Easter, then, is neither that God once did a spectacular miracle but then decided not to do many others nor that there is a blissful life after death to look forward to.  The message of Easter is that God’s new world has been unveiled in Jesus Christ and that you’re now invited to belong to it.” (emphasis added)

— NT Wright (Surprised by Hope, p. 252 – 253)


Easter Quotes: Ann Voskamp – Easter Monday Faith

April 13, 2015

Sun’s rising after Resurrection Sunday on a Monday world where everything’s changed…

Easter Monday faith believes that in impossible darks, impossible light sparks.

Easter Monday faith believes that the tomb places of our life, are but womb places for new life.

Easter Monday faith believes that Christ tenderly takes our doubts — and says touch my scars

This faith believes in stones that roll, in grave clothes that fall, in an Easter people who sing hard hallelujahs … because we believe in resurrections always coming.

— Ann Voskamp, from her 2011 blog entry “What an Easter Faith Looks Like

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This challenges me.. Do I REALLY believe the resurrection brings impossible light into our dark world?  Am I expecting Christ to change the reality of this world and make everything different, or do I somehow expect everything to continue as is, as if He has not been raised.  Father grant me fresh eyes of faith to see Christ’s resurrection power at work in Your Church and Your people, to know that all of Your promises are Yes and Amen in Christ.

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 1Cor 15:20-22 (NIV) But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. 21 For since death came through a man, the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man. 22 For as in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

2 Cor 1:20a (NIV)  For no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ…


Easter Quotes: The Fierce Christ of Easter (Timothy George)

April 12, 2015

fierce_Christ

In an excellent short Easter reflection at First Things magazine, Dr. Timothy George writes:

The New Testament, on the other hand, presents death as a violent intrusion, an illicit disruption, a trespasser, a foe or enemy to be overcome. Indeed, Paul refers to death as “the last enemy” to be destroyed by Christ, who will stomp it under his feet on the day of resurrection (1 Cor. 15:25-26). In the meantime, God does not sit idly by, observing with cool detachment the sufferings of his people and the ragings of Satan. That kind of God is the God of deism, the God Thomas Hardy once referred to as “a dreaming, dark, dumb Thing that turns the handle of this idle show.” This view of the divine is at the root of much contemporary atheism. But the God of the Gospel of John is the one who challenges evil at its strongest point, who becomes indignant and angry in the face of death and evil. What we have in John 11 is not so much sinners in the hands of an angry God (though there is much about judgment in John), but rather sin itself, in its most intrusive, death-dealing effect, confronted by an angry Christ.

The fierce Christ of Easter faith is not like the Jesus depicted on the front of many church bulletins: the freshly-laundered Jesus all buffed and tanned, stepping out of the tomb like an athlete fresh from the gym, or like a CEO all buttoned up for a board meeting. No, he is more like Aslan, the great untamed Lion in C. S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia.

It’s a good reminder…

(art credit)


Easter Quotes: Ann Voskamp – “The second Adam recreating all the universe”

April 11, 2015

From Ann Voskamp’s 2011 Easter blog entry  “…and out of the black”

The cornerstone of Christianity

is this rotting cell sparking,

a heart valve quivering in the pitch,

a beetle scratching in the black while

convex chest cavity shudders,

sunken death inflating with His hot breath,

atoms of the second Adam recreating

all the universe.

::

::


Can you feel it, within, in your darkest places?

He is alive! And in us!


Easter Quotes: Ann Voskamp – Dead Bodies Walking

April 10, 2015

This is an entry I found shortly after completing my 2015 Eastertide resources compilation yesterday.  It fits right in with the theme of living out Easter in our daily lives, not merely celebrating for one weekend…:

 

Could Easter become not just weekend but a whole long season of celebrating — a season of His signs?

Could Easter become not just weekend but a way of living — how Christ-followers live on this side of the tomb right echo empty?

Could Easter become what we courageously witness everywhere in the world, the hope of Christ, the signs of a new Kingdom here — because when dead bodies walk, who can not talk?

– from Ann Voskamp’s 2011 blog entry “What if more than celebrating Easter- we lived it?

(Go read the whole entry!)


A compilation of Easter Quotes we’ve posted since 2009

April 9, 2015

Last update: 9 April 2015

easter-wordartWell we have compilations of Easter prayers, Easter poems, Easter music, Eastertide resource links…, but up until now, I’ve not pulled together a compilation of all the Easter-themed quotations we’ve posted at the blog over the years.  There are more than I remembered, and many are really good and worth browsing  (if we do say so ourselves…!)  So, it’s time to list all our Easter Quotes entries in one place.

Entries are in chronological order, most recent first.  I’ll try to update this periodically throughout the Easter 2015 season.

(art credit)

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2015 entries:

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2014 entries:

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2012 Entries:

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2009 Entries:

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Note: You might also want to browse our Lent Quotes and Holy Week Quotes, as many of those contain Easter themes.


A Compilation of Eastertide links and resources – celebrating the full 50 days of the Easter Season

April 9, 2015

UPDATED: 19 April 2015

This post is sticky – look below for new entries

This year more than ever, I feel an urgency to continue to celebrate Easter throughout the entire 50 day Easter Season (traditionally known as “Eastertide” in Anglican circles).  Perhaps it is the bleakness of the world, and the awareness of evil (such as recent terrorist killings of Christians in Kenya and Libya…) that makes me want to cling to the joy of the Lord’s resurrection and meditate on the glorious truth of His victory in a more focused way this year.  Continuing to reflect on His resurrection power also helps remind me that His power is at work in my heart to conquer sin.  Finally, I find myself wanting to continue to strengthen some of the spiritual disciplines started in Lent in terms of time spent in Scripture, taking advantage of this 50 day season to walk with Jesus and fellowship with Him, allowing Him to expound the Scriptures and stir up my heart so it burns with more a passion for Him.  With these goals in mind, I offer the following list of some articles, reflections resources, prayers, music all focused on helping us maintain an Easter-focus during the 50 days of Eastertide. 

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NEW (April 19) – DON’T MISS THISA Compilation of 70 Favorite Easter and Eastertide Hymns.  Note, there is now a separate Easter Hymns category, since we plan to post a lot more Easter hymns in coming days!

NEW UDPATE! – (April 15): I’ve just posted about a great blog and a new Eastertide devotional resource on the theme Practice Resurrection 2015.  This post also includes a short list of some of the links in our Eastertide compilation (specifically links to reflections on practicing resurrection / celebrating Eastertide).

Let me link the blog and devotional separately:

The blog: This Sacramental Life by Tamara Hill Murphy.  See especially #practiceresurrection2015 – who wants to join me? and her Easter Daybook entries

The devotional:  Eastertide Devotional 2015 from Christ Church Austin (pdf version here)

And you can follow along on Twitter using #practiceresurrection or #practiceresurrection2015

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First, some of my favorite resources, links and entries from years’ past:

Keep reading below – there are nearly 50 additional links!

Read the rest of this entry »


Easter Quotes: The Veils of the Lenten Array are Removed and the Victory of the Cross is Revealed

April 9, 2015

I found this lovely quote / short reflection about Easter at the Cradle of Prayer facebook page:

On Easter the veils of Lenten array are removed, and the victory of the Cross is revealed. With the disciples we enter into his grave and find it empty – nothing else than the gate to his joyful resurrection. The astounding discovery of the empty tomb, confirmed by the message of angels and by the risen Lord himself, confounds the wisdom of this world. In this revelation of God’s saving wisdom, we learn the answer to Jesus’ prayer, his first word on the cross: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

The stone is rolled back, and the way lies open for us to pass over from guilt to forgiveness, and from ignorance to understanding. Let us therefore ‘set our minds on things above … where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God’.
“I am risen, and am with thee still, alleluia: thou hast laid thine hand upon me, alleluia: thy knowledge is become wonderful, alleluia, alleluia”.


Easter Quotes: Martin Luther, and commentary by Andrew Peterson

May 2, 2014

Apologies for not posting any Easter devotionals this week.  I’ve been unwell the last few days.  

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“Our Lord has written the promise of resurrection, not in books alone, but in every leaf in springtime”

a quote attributed to Martin Luther (#41)

About this quote, Christian songwriter Andrew Peterson reflects:

I long to see him face-to-face. I long to put my hand in his side, and touch the scars. I want to thank him and to worship him without this confounded veil between us. Just fighting to believe can make you weary, and faith is hard to hold. But we are given moments of reprieve. Easter comes around and the pews are full of every-Sunday sinners and once-in-a-blue-moon saints. The ice melts. The daffodils glow like little suns. We remember the earth-shaking fact of the resurrection of Jesus, and hope comes galloping in from the east, trumpeting the tune of victory.

Today, when I walked the hill and saw the buds on the tulip poplar spreading out their little hands, I believed it. When I sat in the dark during the Good Friday service and sang “O Sacred Head Now Wounded” with a roomful of saints who, astonishingly, forsook whatever else they could have been doing to drive across town to mourn the murder of Christ–I believed it. And now, as I write this on Easter morning, when I think of the pain and death and sorrow that surrounds me and my community, I believe it, because I have seen a light the shadow cannot touch. I have seen healing, and unexplainable faith; I have seen quiet mercy stop evil in its tracks.

Demand proof if you want. Proof has its place, as it did for the early Christians. But blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe. The stories are true.

Let wonder infect you.


Easter quotes – Easter turns the world upside down

April 29, 2014

From the Rev. Bryan Owens’ Easter sermon:

The Easter message that God raised Jesus to bodily life again after bodily death turns the world upside down. It flies in the face of experience and common sense. It mocks the pretensions of human wisdom. It undermines our faith in the all-sufficiency of reason. It boldly announces that a Power has been unleashed into this world against which tyrants and bullies, sickness and disease, loss and grief, fear and shame, sin and evil, and death and decay are powerless. And it proves a staggering truth: that God loves this world in all of its dazzling diversity, and that God loves each and every one of us, so very much that He will go to any lengths to guarantee our salvation, including suffering the ravages of death and hell so that we don’t have to.


Easter Quotes: Ann Voskamp – the Cornerstone of Christianity

April 27, 2014

And all the people in need, in desperate need, in broken need,

whisper it like a breaking dawn in the dark,

He is risen indeed, indeed, indeed.

 

and the cornerstone of Christianity

is this rotting cell sparking,

a heart valve quivering in the pitch,

a beetle scratching in the black while

convex chest cavity shudders,

sunken death inflating with His hot breath,

atoms of the second Adam recreating

resurrecting

all the impossible things and the universe.

— Ann Voskamp, from her Easter Sunday post at A Holy Experience

 


An Easter Homily from Saint Ephrem of Syria

April 26, 2014

An excerpt from an Easter homily by St. Ephrem the Syrian (ca. 306-373).

Here’s the beginning:

Death trampled our Lord underfoot, but he in his turn treated death as a highroad for his own feet. He submitted to it, enduring it willingly, because by this means he would be able to destroy death in spite of itself. Death had its own way when our Lord went out from Jerusalem carrying his cross; but when by a loud cry from that cross he summoned the dead from the underworld, death was powerless to prevent it.

Death slew him by means of the body which he had assumed, but that same body proved to be the weapon with which he conquered death. Concealed beneath the cloak of his manhood, his godhead engaged death in combat; but in slaying our Lord, death itself was slain. It was able to kill natural human life, but was itself killed by the life that is above the nature of man.

The full text is at Creedal Christian


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