Scripture: Luke 15:
We read in verse 2 that Jesus “receives sinners and eats with them.” Luke uses this word “receive” six other times in his writings and every time it means “eagerly await or expect and look for.” Jesus is not just receiving sinners; he is looking for them and eagerly awaiting their coming.
He is saying: I welcome sinners because I am the incarnation of God’s love pursuing the lost. I am the shepherd seeking the sheep. I am the woman seeking her coin. I am the father who finds a lost son and celebrates with all his house.
Every month in Chicago 20 to 30 unclaimed people are buried. People who have nobody that knows or cares. They just die. Someone finds them on the street or in a park or in an alley or in a lonely tenement. The officials search for relatives. The Medical Examiner’s Office waits and holds the bodies. No one comes forward to claim the body. A hundred-eighty-foot long trench is dug at the cemetery and the wooden boxes are lined up next to each other and buried. No stone. And no marker.
This is a picture of lostness. Not a single person seems to know or care when they die. But ultimate lostness is when one is cut off from GOD.
Easter is about the love of GOD coming into the cities and suburbs of our world to find lost sons and daughters. It’s about the identity of JESUS and the meaning of His mission in the world.
This is what JESUS’ birth, death, burial, and resurrection is about!
JESUS is Risen . . . !