It is not often that a pastor connects the resurrection of the Lord Jesus to the movie Talladega Nights, but buckle up, ‘cause it’s about to happen.
The colloquial expression, “That. Just. Happened.” entered into modern diction about a decade ago after being popularized by Will Ferrell’s character in a gloriously stupid movie. If you have no idea what I am talking about, congratulations, you are likely more intelligent than the rest of us. The phrase has come to be employed when something so audacious takes place that the only response one is able to muster is a recognition that the event occurred in the first place.
Example: A man from a small town in Northern Galilee wanders around the countryside for about three years teaching people about the boundless love of God for all people, performing healings and miracles, and claiming to be the Messiah; God’s own Son. You follow him around, impressed by his powers, confused and confronted by his unique claims of authority, and hopeful that perhaps he is the One God had promised to send to set you and your people free. He enters into Jerusalem ahead of the Passover feast to raucous praises from the crowds who are ready to anoint him King of Israel. Your hopes grow as he clearly receives these acclaims and worship of the people and promises that God is about to initiate a new and different Kingdom: the Kingdom of God. Then your hopes are dashed. The one you longed to be the Messiah is betrayed by one of his own, arrested, put on trial, beaten and executed in your sight. He is dead, and now you scatter in fear, along with the rest of his followers.
You wait. You hide. You grieve. It was all for not.
Then, on the third day, you begin to hear reports that this man’s body has gone missing. The tomb is empty. You are confused. And still scared.
And then this man who you know well and whom you saw die, appears to you alive. He was dead. Now he is risen.
What is there to say at this point? What words could describe your joy? What message can encapsulate what you have experienced? Maybe it is enough to say, “That. Just. Happened.”
On Easter morning in our three awesome worship services with ridiculously great music, we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. We began our worship service with a pronouncement that Christians have employed throughout the ages, mirroring the words of the disciples on the first Easter: “He is Risen! He is Risen Indeed.”
Maybe next year we will try, “That. Just. Happened.” And ask you to reply, “That Just Happened, Indeed.”
If you missed Easter worship at First Pres, I hope that you were able to celebrate the resurrection with another group of Jesus followers. If you would like to listen to the Easter message, you can stream it here.
Sometimes something so miraculous transpires that all we are able to do is all that we need to do, to acknowledge the truth of its happening.
Friends, He is Risen. He is Risen. He is Risen. He is Risen.