The resurrection story is mostly rumor, you know. It is completely different from all the crucifixion stories. In those stories, Jesus died a public death with a plaque over his head. His death was real, horrific, and bloody. We know it was him who died.
But the resurrection? One person tells another the tomb is empty, but there is no confirmation the body wasn’t misplaced or stolen. We doubt someone who was clearly dead could just get up and go about daily life. How gullible could one be? So, what happened? After all, it was Mary who spread this news and how do we know she wasn’t just hysterical and couldn’t cope with the events of the last few days? A little embellishment here and there would be understandable, right?
Here’s the thing: Jesus didn’t appear to everyone after this supposed resurrection. How do we know he really did come back to life? Even his disciple Thomas had a hard time recognizing him and wanted him to prove he was really who he said he was! So, when other people heard” this story” it was up to them to decide whether they would believe it or not. We must decide as well.
How can this be fact checked? We can’t “google it” or look to trusted(?) media outlets to research things for us. The truth is, at the end of the day, we need to have an encounter with the living God ourselves. It is the only way for us to know Jesus is who he says he is.
I really get the disappointment of those two guys on their way to Emmaus, don’t you? Nothing had gone as they expected. Their whole life was turned upside down. They thought they knew the play book and it was all too much to comprehend. However, when this strange guy joined them on the road and ended up having supper with them, they finally knew who he was when he broke the bread for them. Why would his identity click for them at that moment? Could it be that they had witnessed him doing this before? Recognized his tone of voice? His prayer?
When we break bread together during holy communion I sometimes feel “broken open”. It feels like down in the very depths of me I see how I am known and loved and the eyes of my heart are opened to God’s love for each and every one of you and for all of creation itself. I know the exquisite joy of His presence in that moment. Have you experienced this as well? Do you find it hard to accurately describe what this is like to someone else too? At the end of the day, we know in our hearts that everyone must have an encounter with the living God themselves to know; to really, really, know!
I invite you to ask the living God for fresh encounters with his Good News by singing/saying these familiar lyrics with me: “Open our eyes Lord, we want to see Jesus, to reach out and touch Him, and say that we love Him. Open our eyes Lord and help us to listen. Open our eyes Lord, we want to see Jesus”.
May it be so, Amen