Dietrich Bonhoeffer, a German pastor who was imprisoned for fighting against the Nazi regime, wrote in a letter from prison:

It is “through the resurrection of Christ that a new and purifying wind can blow through our present world ...

If a few people really believed that and acted on it in their daily lives, a great deal would be changed. To live in the light of the resurrection — that is what Easter means.”

That wind of resurrection is blowing through our world — can you feel it?

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Seeing this, Peter addressed the people: “You Israelites, why are you amazed at this? Why are you staring at us as if we made him walk by our own power or piety? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob — the God of our ancestors — has glorified his servant Jesus. This is the one you handed over and denied in Pilate’s presence, even though he had already decided to release him. You rejected the holy and righteous one, and asked that a murderer be released to you instead. You killed the author of life, the very one whom God raised from the dead. We are witnesses of this.”

Acts 3:12-15

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In the aftermath of a miraculous healing, Peter delivers a line that requires some mental acrobatics: “You killed the author of life, the very one whom God raised from the dead.” How can the author of life be killed? And how can the deceased author of life become undead? It seems to make no logical sense.

Peter’s words capture the paradox at the heart of resurrection. The Christian promise of resurrection is not simply a reversal of the natural process of dying or extra courage to face death. Resurrection is a supernatural mystery by which God raises one already dead. Dietrich Bonhoeffer wrote in his letter from prison that it’s one thing to master the art of dying well, but “Christ overcame death as ‘the last enemy’ (1 Cor. 15:26). There is a real difference between these two things; the one is within the scope of human possibilities, the other means resurrection.”

Jesus Christ, the author of life, has been resurrected. Though we cannot fully understand or explain it, we carry the promise that we will be resurrected too.

Andrew Garnett

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God, I stand in awe that the author of life has been raised from the dead. I pray that you would raise me, too, into a new life. Amen.

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As one who has been raised with Christ, go today to witness the resurrection of your own life.

Andrew Garnett

Andrew Garnett is the Minister for Serving Christ at Forest Hills Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC. He enjoys spending time with his wife and daughter, hiking, visiting historical sites, and playing board games — and the more complicated the board game, the better!

Reflections on the Way: I Will Arise and Go to Jesus - Break Thou the Bread of Life

Ken Medema

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