Part of being human is learning to live with limitations. We have physical limitations (we can only run so fast, jumps so high, see so far); intellectual limitations (we can only learn so much, so fast, so comprehensively); emotional limitations (we can only deal with so much love, hate, fear, doubt, grief). But, the most ominous of our limitations is our mortality (we can only live so long, accomplish so much, strive so far). No matter what we do… we will soon come to the end of our mortal life.
Who we can or cannot be, what we can or cannot achieve, where we can or cannot go, how we can or cannot live are all shaped by our limitations. Like all living things, the more restrictive the limitations… the less fully developed we are… the less we are able to live into the fullness of our potential.
What if someone were to tell us that the limitations that we thought were real, solid, and restrictive our whole lives could actually be overcome? Would that be a great source of courage, joy, hope, creativity and promise? Would that set us free from the oppressive fears, doubts, and frustrations that seem to so strangle our lives?
Even when it comes to the finality of death, how awesome would it be to learn that our mortality itself is not the limitation we think it is.
This would be Good News indeed! And, it just so happens that it is an integral part of the resurrection story we celebrate on Easter. Jesus overcomes death! The tomb is empty!
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they came to the tomb, taking the spices that they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, 3 but when they went in, they did not find the body. 4 While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men in dazzling clothes stood beside them. 5 The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. 6 Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” 8 Then they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest. (Luke 24:1-9 NRSV)
Jesus was NOT a superhero. He intentionally took on the limitations that all human beings are saddled with. But, in his faith and faithfulness, in his amazing love, he met the limitations head-on without compromising his courage, joy, hope, creativity and promise. In this, in the resurrection, his divine nature is revealed in its fullness.
Jesus extends an invitation for us to participate in his divine nature. With faith and faithfulness, in amazing love, we are called to follow him head-on into our own limitations… even the limitation of death.
His promise: because he lives… we will live too! And our lives will be full and eternal. This promise changes everything.
How will this Easter promise change our lives today?