Resurrection doesn’t happen only after you die and go to heaven. Resurrection can and does happen to us now — on this side of heaven. How is that possible? Jesus Christ is risen today. The crucified Jesus couldn’t be imprisoned by death – and the risen Christ cannot be confined to heaven. He’s loose. He’s here – which changes everything.
“I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly (John 10:10).” That’s what Jesus gave his traumatized friends after the crucifixion – and that’s what Jesus is giving all of us who are traumatized after the pandemic: Jesus is here to love us back into life.
The good news for all of us who are exhausted and anxious is this: Christ is here. Easter is now. Healing is possible because resurrection happens. The future can be different. We can change. We can live into hope because we can walk with Christ.
When you don’t know what to do, you return to what you know. The disciples did. They were fisherman. So, they went back to their old ways, which weren’t working. They weren’t catching anything. So, Jesus suggested: “Do things differently. Try doing things my way, and see what happens.”
The first disciples did – and they found joy. We will, too. When we’re stuck, we can try something different with Christ. Often, it will be hard, but also and always, it will be good. The disciples were blessed by a great catch, but they had to haul it in. Blessings often require us to do our part. God will make the way as we make the effort… to attend recovery meetings or go back to church or do what our doctor has been urging us to do. The Bible promises us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us – and who is resurrecting us to live with Easter hope into brighter days.
It takes time. Our journey of faith is often three steps forward, two steps back. But that’s okay. We don’t have to be perfect because Jesus already is. All we have to do is open our hearts to our Savior and be willing to try. Or, if we are too tired to try, we can offer our exhaustion to God asking for resurrection. God will hear that prayer. The God who raised Jesus will raise you.
This scripture is the third time Jesus appeared to his disciples. Jesus’ love for them wasn’t a one and done thing. “There. I’ve given you what you need. Now it’s all up to you. Good luck. Adios.” No. Jesus appeared repeatedly because healing takes time; faith doesn’t happen all at once; resurrection is mostly not instantaneous, but incremental. That’s good because the deep change takes time. Which is what we have with Christ: Time. He arose and he’s not going anywhere. Except into the future with you by his side: Helping, healing, and loving you.
So, take heart. Breathe deep. You don’t need the entire plan for the rest of your life. You have Christ who will help you figure things out; who will give you strength for the journey; who will walk with you every day; and who will see you safely home.
As Jesus repeatedly tells us: Fear not. I am alive. You shall heal. You shall rise. You shall live.