Have you seen Jesus lately? Perhaps you wouldn’t recognize him if you did. When Mary first saw Jesus, she thought he was the gardener. When the disciples first told Thomas that they had seen Jesus, he doubted. He said that unless he saw him personally and touched his body, he wouldn’t believe. When he finally does, Thomas cries out, “my Lord and my God!” Ever since that time others have “seen” Jesus.
Exactly 50 years ago this April, the nation watched the funeral of Martin Luther King Jr., the assassinated civil rights leader. One man wrote later how the tragedy and sadness of the event left him in deep despair. He watched as the television camera moved over the church during the funeral. When it came to focus on one of the stained glass windows, his so became excited and cried out, “Daddy, Daddy, I see Jesus!” The boys comment jolted the man, and he realized once again that where there is faith in Jesus evil cannot triumph.
After half a century evil is still with us. Racism is still here, innocent people are killed, robbed, and hooked on drugs. We are still fighting wars. But the figure of the risen Christ towers over all of our sorrows and fears. “I see Jesus!” is always the last word.
An escaped slave in the 1800s renamed herself Sojourner Truth. As she lived through most of that century, she an abolitionist leader and later a traveling speaker and preacher.
Her life was often hard, but her faith in Jesus who was raised from the dead gave her an indomitable spirit, and she became a testimony of faith wherever she went. Before she died at the age of 86, someone asked her if she was afraid of dying. “I’m not going to die, honey,” she answered with a softness in her voice and a brightness in her eyes, “I’m going home like a shooting star!”
She, too, saw Jesus standing at the end of her life. May that kind of faith be yours as well. Jesus Christ is risen today.
Rev. Gary Nelson