First Thoughts, Easter 3

I thought this posted the other day.  Still figuring the mechanics out…

Acts 2:14, 36-41

Repentance is different than just changing how we act.  The word here is metanoia.  It means ‘thinking again’.  Theologically, sin is not just “doing bad things”.  It is more than that.  It is acting from a bad set of assumptions.  The specific sin Peter is calling the people to repent on isn’t simply hanging Jesus on the cross.  It is the wrong understanding of Jesus that led them to put him there.  Just simply saying “Whooops, we take it back” wouldn’t change the people’s relationship with Jesus.  But ‘thinking again’ would.  Just the same, if I stop outwardly doing things to hurt another person, that won’t change our relationship on a real level.  But if I change how I understand them, I change the deeper reason I was treating them badly.  Then I’ve repented.

1 Peter 1:17-23

Here, Peter points to how the cross and resurrection change everything.  No longer is life about ‘Getting right with God’.  It is about dying and rising with Christ.  Ransom means we are set free.  The cross is not only Jesus paying the price for what we did, but also a reminder of what happens when someone opposes the powers of the world.  You get killed.  And then, the resurrection is God’s over-riding of humanity’s evil.  After all, if God just needed someone to die, then Good Friday is all it takes.  Easter doesn’t matter.  But if Easter matters, then ransom becomes about God taking all of our injustice, the worst we can dish out, and returning only love.  It is about God bringing life out of death.  The cross becomes about dying and rising with Christ.  Where baptism in the blood of Christ changes us from trying to ‘get right with God’ to living renewed in God’s grace.  To catch all of this, we have to realize where the ransom is pointing in this text… to the resurrection.

Luke 24:13-35

Here we have the Emmaus story. Jesus appearing on the road to two disheartened disciples.  Just like Thomas, these guys doubt the resurrection.  They didn’t get excited about it until they saw him, just like Thomas.  They knew the women had found the tomb empty, and that others had confirmed it, but that wasn’t enough to keep them from being down.  Only when they saw him themselves did they run back and tell the others.

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About Pastor Tim

I'm pastor of First Lutheran Church in San Marcos, TX. I'm also a husband and dad of two amazing boys.
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