Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Resurrection Was Not a Miracle

I’ve seen it written that the Resurrection of Jesus was a miracle, one that all could see and not deny. It happened. I myself have probably thought of the Resurrection in those terms most days.

But Easter was not a miracle.

Webster’s definition of a miracle is: An extraordinary event manifesting divine intervention in human affairs. If you think the events of Jesus’ life were strictly human affairs, then I guess you could say His being raised from the dead was a miracle. But as for me, I believe He was God, and He was not raised, but arose Himself. His death and resurrection were not an “extraordinary event,” He predicted it! And I believe that if God says something will happen, it will --- nothing extraordinary about that at all, to my mind. And I don’t strictly believe the point about “divine intervention” either. He was God and He arose from the dead; He was capable of it and did it --- there was no other intervention. He did it. Therefore, based on Webster’s definition of a miracle, the Resurrection was not a miracle.

No, it only seemed a miracle then, in the eyes of non-believers, the ones who didn’t really believe in their hearts, those who would readily say: “This can’t be.” But that was then; what about today, and looking back with all our knowledge of the events before and after Easter? Could we believers in Jesus still say the Easter Resurrection was a miracle? I say not.

He did what He said He would do, and looking back, it is not a surprising thing for God to do.

And considering this past event, what of looking forward? What do we see, expect, and believe about the future? Does He care about us, and not forget us? Does He act in ways which show His love which we say believe in? Can we trust in Him as a God who loves us, always? If we should see His love in action, even if we do not understand the way or reason of it, would we say: “It is a miracle,” and would we say: “I believe”?

I had great plans for this Easter day. I would go to mass and then go to be with my dying friend and her family. My Saturday night caregiver would give up her usual casual Sunday so I could drive to my friend's hospital. I would console them when they need consoling, and would attempt to be His presence and His mercy. I would try to be His instrument of peace. These were my plans, and surely they were God's plans also.

But it turns out that I shall not do those things. One of my mom’s caregivers left town to be with her family, and the other agreed to be a substitute caregiver for a 104 year old woman, so that her regular caregiver could be with her family. And therefore, it is required that I be here with my family, my mom, this Easter Sunday. Not as I planned; as I had planned for His will to be.

I awoke early this morning and lay in bed thinking of these and many things, planned and unplanned, and of my dying friend. I had confidence that Jesus was acting in ways for her and her family that perhaps I didn’t understand, and that His mercy that I prayed for WAS being acted out. I trusted Him, or so I thought. Still, as I thought on my failed plans, and as I thought on her continued suffering, I wondered …

The radio alarm went off suddenly, jarring me from my thoughts. (The radio alarm? Hadn’t I set the buzzer as usual?) The radio blared loudly, the music sounded dramatic. I heard words, and realized what was playing was a clip from an old movie. And then I heard the words of a question: “And you, Thomas?” And I heard the reply: “I believe You are the Christ, the Messiah.”

The question was asked to the doubter (and btw, my name is Thomas). Hearing my name caught my attention, and I was sitting up and awake, but I didn’t pay attention to anything else said, and wondered in my heart how I would answer that question if it were put to me now. And was He in fact asking it of me now? The thought has hung with me throughout this day.

And if the movie script were re-written and your name inserted, how would you answer? How much would you say you trust in Him, or do you do as I did, and plan out His will for Him?

Happy Easter, my friends. He is risen, indeed! It indeed is no miracle, but just as He promised and just as HE planned.

I trust in all His promises.

Peace! Do not be afraid.

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