Psalm 118:14-29, Acts 10:34-44, 1 Corinthians 15:19-26, John 20:1-13
Genesis 22:1-12 [The Voice]
22 After a period of time, God decided to put Abraham to the test.
—I am right here.
—Take your son, your only son Isaac whom I know you love deeply, and go to the land of Moriah. When you get there, I want you to offer Isaac to Me as a burnt offering on one of the mountains. I will show you which one.
3 Abraham did as he was told. Early in the morning he got up, saddled his donkey, and taking two of his trusted servants with him and his son Isaac, he cut the wood for the burnt offering and traveled to the place God had told him about. 4 On the third day of the journey, Abraham looked up and saw the place far in the distance.
—5 Stay here with the donkey. The boy and I will go over there. We will worship, and then we will come back to meet you here. 6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and set it on the shoulders of his son Isaac to carry. Abraham himself carried the fire and the knife. The two of them walked on together.
—7 “Father!” Isaac called.
—“I am right here, Son.”
—“Look, we have the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”
—8 “God will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” The two of them continued to walk on together. 9 When they finally arrived at the place God had shown him, Abraham took some stones and built an altar there and arranged the wood carefully on top of it. Then he bound up his son Isaac with rope and laid him on the altar on top of the stack of wood. 10 Just as Abraham reached over to grab the knife that would kill his son, 11 the special messenger of the Eternal One called his name from heaven.
—“I am right here!” replied Abraham.
—12 “Don’t lay your hand on the boy or do anything to harm him. I know now that you respect the one True God and will be loyal to Him and follow His commands, because you were willing to give up your son, your only son, to Me.”
God shows up when the resurrection is proclaimed. The resurrection is proclaimed when we ACT IN FAITH BASED UPON GOD’S PROMISES. Abraham was acting in faith. After all that he and Sarah had been through, he did not understand why God would command him to offer his only son. But it made no difference, God had commanded and that was enough for him. God discovered something in this story. God discovered that Abraham meant business, so God decided to bless him and make him the Father of many tribes, many religions and many expressions of God in the world. Abraham discovered: Live faithfully and God will show up.
Every time we GET UP from whatever seeks to hold us down, keep us down, back us down, bully us down, or psyche us down, we act and live in THE POWER OF THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST.
In Psalm 118:14, David proclaims, “The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.”
Peter was acting in the power of the strength of the resurrection. Gentiles were unclean. Jews were not to associate with them, and entering their houses made you unclean. This gentile, a Roman centurion, was an abomination in every sense of the term, but God had spoken, first giving him a vision of all the foods that were considered unclean and an abomination for Jews to touch, to even think about eating, and then God sent him to minister to an abomination.
Peter went, not because he did not share the bias of other Jews, but because God said “Go.” Living a resurrection life is acting with God, not against God, loving with God, reaching with God, embracing with God. Christ in us calls us to live above bias, custom, culture and law.
God’s resurrection is Good News for every human being. Live faithfully and God will show up, while we are yet acting and living and speaking. God shows up in our lives when we live as if God’s presence is all around us, in every situation, in every circumstance, in every effort, in every venture and with every challenge.
44 While Peter was still speaking these words, the Holy Spirit came on all who heard the message.
So today we join with Peter and others who committed themselves to living out the resurrection, for even while we are still speaking, still praying, still working, still fighting—Christ is with us and this means that God will show up, in strength, power, love, joy and peace. Amen.