Easter Sunday came this week, with joy and celebration. Kyle brought a sermon on the power of Jesus's resurrected life to change everything -- including our deepest failures and regrets. He began this week in a passage from John 21, where the resurrected Lord appears in quite an ordinary way -- on a fishing trip.
It is the Lord!
John's story occurs after Jesus's initial appearance to his disciples. The disciples have been fishing all night long, with no luck, and Jesus appears on the shore, tells them to try again, and miraculously gives them an abundant catch of fish. Despite their having seen the resurrected Christ before this moment, the disciples don't recognize him until they make that miraculous catch. But as soon as they recognize him, John says "It is the Lord!' and Peter jumps into the water to meet Jesus. When they get there, they have a wonderful surprise: Jesus has cooked them breakfast. What follows is an intimate reunion over good food among good friends, where Jesus demonstrates his real affection for his disciples.
Christ, the Servant
The surprising thing about this whole post-resurrection scene is how mundane and relaxed it is. Jesus has just proven himself to be Lord over everything -- even over death itself -- and now, he sits down and cooks a meal for his friends and invites them to come and eat. When he calls to them before they realize who he is, he uses the term, "friends," which could be better translated, "Hey guys!" because it connotes affection and endearment. Nothing is beneath Jesus. The risen, victorious Lord still humbles himself to love and to serve.
God, With Us
This image of the resurrected Christ as humble servant is important because it's easy to confine Jesus's acts of service to his time on earth and view him as removed and exalted today. While He is Lord over everything and He does reign on high, Jesus is still Emmanuel, God with us. Jesus lives today, and He is still showing up in the lowly, mundane parts of our lives. How important this was for the disciples, who had denied and betrayed Christ during his trial and execution. They had hidden in fear and doubted him -- and then, to top it all off, they had a horrible morning of fishing! But Jesus showed up as both friend and Lord, to serve, heal, and provide. And he still shows up today, no matter how far we have fallen.
Jesus Changes Everything
Here's the thing about our emptiness and Christ's power: just as He did with the disciples, Christ has the power to take our empty nets and fill them to overflowing. We should never be ashamed of our lack and failure, for Christ is the very provision in our lack. Jesus provides, restores, and makes all things new. He has the power to change everything and his mercies are new every morning.
Come and Receive
On the shore that morning, Jesus could have chided his disciples for not realizing who he was. He could have said, "I told you so." He could have told Peter to make him some breakfast. But that's not our Lord. Jesus simply said, "Come, and have breakfast." Today, Jesus calls us to come and receive His new life, and with it, he offers freedom, grace, joy, and fellowship. Today we are called to recognize Christ's Lordship and to receive hope and joy from his resurrected life. Come, and receive.