A United Methodist Pastor's Theological Reflections

"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory (nikos) through our Lord Jesus Christ." - I Corinthians 15:57

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Upcoming Sunday Scripture Commentary - April 5

Sermon (April 5) - "Different Robes of Jesus: The Rolled Up Robe"

II Corinthians 5:1-5

Paul refers to the body as a tent and that God is preparing a house for us. Paul was a tentmaker so this was a familiar analogy. People need to live in some type of dwelling.

Paul also refers to our clothing. In Christ, we are not naked. We are clothed with Christ. It's a body that cannot be destroyed by death. (verse 4)

Our new bodies are waiting in heaven. (verse 1) The new body is animated by the Spirit (II Corinthians 15:44 & 46)

This passage raises the question about clothing. Clothing is to be an anticipation of wearing our heavenly clothing. We are a shadow of the people we will be when we receive our more complete heavenly bodies.

We have been focusing on the different robes of Jesus during the season of Lent. Easter reminds us that through the risen Christ, we are to put on our resurrection clothes and take off our old clothing that keeps us from being the people God wants us to be.

John 20:1-18

In writing his gospel, John creatively tells the story of Jesus by using the Genesis creation story as a backdrop.

John begins his Gospel by talking about "in the beginning."

On Friday of Holy Week (the sixth day of creation) Jesus is presented to Pilate as the man. God created man on the sixth day.

On Saturday in the creation story, God rests. Jesus' body rested in the tomb on Saturday.

In the creation story, Sunday is the first day of the week. In John's Gospel, Easter (Sunday) isn't just the first day of the week, but the beginning of a new creation through the resurrection of Jesus.

The placement of the rolled up robe shows us that something very mysterious has happened to Jesus' body. If his body had been stolen, nobody would have taken the time to take off the clothing! It appears that the body just disappeared leaving the clothing behind. It looks like this body was resurrected!

Mary sees someone who she thinks is the gardener but is really the resurrected Christ. Again, this gardener reminds us of the creation story. Jesus isn't the old Adam in the garden. Jesus is the new Adam in the garden, the Adam that has brought life out of darkness and chaos, new creation!

Verse 17 - Why did Jesus tell Mary not to cling to his resurrected body? This is to show that his relationship with Mary and the disciples would be similar but different. Mary is told to go and tell the news of the empty tomb. She becomes the first apostle! She has become known as the "apostle to the apostles."

[Note: The resources used for these scripture reading commentaries are based on the Everyone series by NT Wright, Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, The Wesley Study Bible, and the “Montreal-Anglican”lectionary commentaries.]

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