By Evan Norfleet
The final stretch of the Capital Fellows program is upon us! With just three weeks left, I have found myself, like many of my peers, caught between anticipation of the transition that soon awaits, earnestly reflecting on all that has taken place throughout the year, and working to stay fixated on the present.
Per usual, much was packed into this past week, but none of greater importance than remembering the life, death, and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It was a joy to spend Easter with McLean Presbyterian, a church that has radically demonstrated generosity, hospitality, and grace to our class of fellows.
On Sunday, I was especially encouraged by senior pastor James Forsyth’s presentation of
John 20, particularly verses 19-20: “On the evening of that day, the first day of the week, the doors being locked where the disciples were for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said to them, ‘Peace be with you.’ When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples were glad when they saw the Lord.’”
As James articulated, “Jesus is powerfully standing, speaking, and showing. First, he is standing among them. Why? Because he is alive forevermore. Death was not able to detain him and the tomb they placed him in was not powerful enough to contain him. Now he stands risen indeed. From his death comes life.”
Second, Jesus is speaking: “To a guilt ridden group of motley fools--cowards, traitors to the end. Jesus comes and he speaks. He doesn’t speak a word of condemnation, he doesn’t rebuke them for their grandiose claims, or their failure when it actually came to it, he speaks a word of benediction, a blessing, a word of grace. At the cross he had told them ‘it is finished’, and now he speaks ‘peace.’ From his death comes life.’”
Lastly, Jesus is showing them his hands and his side: “Jesus’ glorified, perfected body still bears wounds and scars. Jesus stands alive with scars because that’s the uniform of grace that tells us about who he is. The scars used to speak of suffering and death. But now, in the resurrection, they speak of forgiveness and of grace. They speak of life. His scars are the promise of new life and forgiveness.”
So, what do we do with this good news? As James reminded us, “Uniforms teach us how we should interact with people, and so it is with Jesus. The standing, risen savior wants to be known by these wounds. Jesus died and rose again so that when it comes to salvation, it’s about him… Jesus doesn’t take a comparative approach to sin. From the heights of the perfection of God, the difference between the best of us and the worst of us matters not at all. Compared to his perfection, our moral resumes, no matter how good or bad, don’t matter. Jesus stands with scars not so you can save yourself by being good, but that your only hope for salvation is through his blood and through his resurrection.”
This past Roundtable, our class reflected on the themes of the year, and realized that the theme of fellows is a person. Because of Jesus, we can boldly engage with every facet of life, not needing to rest on what we do, but who we are in Him.
As one of our professors, Dr. Bill Fullilove, helpfully reminds us, “Always lead others back to the empty tomb.” Indeed, our Savior won’t be found there. He stands among us, speaks a word of peace, all while showing his scars that speak of grace and forgiveness. This is good news, friends!
The power that raised him from the grave Now works in us to powerfully save. He frees our hearts to live His grace; Go, tell of his goodness. Christ is Risen, He is Risen Indeed by Keith & Kristyn Getty
Pictures from the Week
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