Who Is the Jesus of Easter? by Lisa Hunt-Wotton
I hope that you have a beautiful Easter weekend however you chose to celebrate and remember it. I love Easter Sunday. I love the message. I love the man – Jesus. I don’t mind the chocolate either.
Who is this Jesus?
Easter is the oldest and most important festival on the Church calendar. It is the remembrance of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. But most of all it is about the hope that Easter brings. The fact that Jesus conquered death by love.
This is the message of Jesus, He is alive and He is alive in me. He brings freedom and life and joy. He is safe and He breathes forgiveness. He doesn’t just forgive;
HE IS forgiveness.
There is nothing to be afraid of in the risen Jesus.
We have in him the perfect icon of a God who is safe and a universe that is safe. We have a God who does not blame, does not punish, does not threaten, does not dominate. We have a God who breathes forgiveness (Rohr).
The Resurrection of Jesus tells us that there is no victory through domination. There is no such thing as triumph by force. By his life, death and resurrection Jesus stops the cycle of violence and challenges the notion of dominating power.
This is a power that seeks to change things from the top down, from the outside in. Instead, Jesus invites us to relational or spiritual power, where we are not just changed but transformed. And not transformed from the top down but from the bottom up, not from the outside in but from the inside out. Transformed into God…. (R.Rohr).
“You have to trust that inner voice to show you the way…You know that inner voice. Only by attending constantly to the inner voice can you be converted to a new life of freedom and joy” (Henri Nouwen)
Meditate on these words. Say them to yourself. Say them out loud.
Jesus is the one who speaks lovingly ‘I will never leave you. I am with you always’.
I will love you forever. My love NEVER fails.
I am faithful, I am righteous. I am just and I am truth.
Following Christ is both the safest and the most exhilarating thing that you will ever do.
He is: comfort, compassion, love, acceptance, forgiveness.
He is: good, peace, hope joy, gentleness, freedom.
He does NOT: reject, abuse, abandon, condemn, dominate or control.
HE IS: gracious, kind, merciful, creative, wondrous, ingenious.
He is rest…………..
He fights for the oppressed. He hates injustice.
He came to set prisoners free from every trap that they have been caught in. Every addiction, every bondage, every fear and terror. He has the power and He can free us.
He knows the beginning from the end. His love NEVER fails. When we fail, he lifts us up. By HIS power we can stand.
He knows us intimately, He knows we weep and grieve and that we are frail.
My hope is in Jesus.
My trust is in Jesus
My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus Christ, my righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
He is alive and He lives in me.
We see in Jesus the divine being who is also the perfect human being. Jesus comes in a human body to show us the face of God, the One who is eternally compassionate and eternally joyous, who stands with us in our sufferings and our joys.
As Christians, our vocation is to unite with both Christ crucified and Christ risen. (Rohr)
When you think on these things you can feel hope rising in your heart.
Henri Nouwen: The Inner Voice of Love
This is Henri Nouwen’s “secret journal.” It was written during the most difficult period of his life, when he suddenly lost his self-esteem, his energy to live and work, his sense of being loved, even his hope in God. Although he experienced excruciating anguish and despair, he was still able to keep a journal in which he wrote a spiritual imperative to himself each day that emerged from his conversations with friends and supporters.