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Bible Study: Easter Day (B) – 2012

April 08, 2012

Isaiah 25:6-9

Here Isaiah breaks into the eschatological vision of the eternal banquet. This banquet that will come upon the world is that which will give rise to a celebration that will not be squelched by death. It is here that we should hear Jesus’ words to the disciples of John on fasting: “The wedding guests cannot mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them, can they?” (Matthew 9.15). It is the same reason Christians do not fast on the Lord’s Day, for as the primary day of Eucharistic Celebration it would be as if fasting in the presence of the bridegroom. The question we must ask ourselves, then, in light of the Isaiah passage, is the same question Jesus ask: Do we mourn like the world, or do we now relate to the circumstances of life as the people of Christ, crucified, died and resurrected? It does not mean there will be no mourning in this life, but it does mean that mourning is ending even now.

Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24

What is it to have life? This is the question the psalmist poses to us. “I shall not die, but I shall live,” and just as Paul says in his letter to the Philippians (“For me to live is Christ and to die is gain”) the psalmist tells us that living is for “[recounting] the deeds of the Lord.” Life is to remember and to bear witness to the truth of God with us, says the psalmist, and not only of his benefits but also of his disciplining.

  • How is it that God is disciplining us?
  • How are our actions known to God?
  • What needs mending in our habits for us to see how God is disciplining us and drawing us to himself?
  • Does our way of life permit us to see today as the day the Lord has made?

1 Corinthians 15:1-11

Paul here reminds the Corinthians of the truth of Christ died and resurrected, but something Paul says is very important to remember. Paul’s own eschatological vision of salvation is the eternal actuality of the redeeming work of God in Christ – the already-not-yet of redemption. We have been saved; we are being saved; we will be saved. It is this “being saved” that helps us to see the ongoing and eternal nature of Christ’s redeeming act. We are being saved, being completed, being perfected. Paul here names the eternal action of God’s creating, whereby we come to understand that God is always creating, always making us into his people – always gathering us into himself by his indwelling Spirit. Paul challenges our modern notions of success and completion, reminding us that we are ever in a state of being completed in Christ, because we are the Lord’s creation and our journey toward Christ and his redemption is an eternal journey. We might ask ourselves, then, how most everything around us moves us to fixate on determinable ends, timelines, goals, and to investigate how these daily measures of life hinder us from seeing the eternal action of God in Christ, who is still with us making of us a chosen people for our own good.

John 20:1-18

Earlier in John’s gospel (John 10.27) Jesus tells the Jews that, “My sheep hear my voice.” It is a curious passage, but it comes into full light in this passage when Jesus calls Mary by name. “My own know me,” says Jesus (John 10. 14). Mary knows Jesus when she hears him call out her name. Mary in kind knows Jesus, calling out to him in the same manner. She is an exemplar of what it means to know Christ. Mary Magdalene is there at the graveside; she weeps for his loss; and she hears his voice. Mary reveals to us what it truly means to know Christ. It is to be so attuned to the way of God in the world that when you hear the voice of the Lord, you know it. Mary calls into question the order of our lives and asks us whether we are so poised and attuned to hear Christ calling our names. In John 3, Jesus talks about the Pharisees having their sight darkened by evil deeds. We must ask ourselves what around us is moving us to fill our ears, preventing us from hearing the voice of the Lord.

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Christopher Sikkema


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This page is available in: Español