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The Week After Easter

Easter Lily

Easter’s come and gone… now what?  People gathered on-line together to worship and praise Jesus as their Savior and Lord. To realize that almost 2 billion people across the planet were celebrating Christ’s glorious resurrection is staggering when you think about it. 

No other holiday except for Christmas is the subject of as much anticipation as Easter. But now that Resurrection Sunday is behind us and the distractions of pandemic and all of the changes take front stage again, it’s easy to mentally set the message of Easter aside until next spring.

Margaret Manning calls us to not let the joy of the Resurrection fade. Jesus’ resurrection isn’t something to celebrate once a year and then forget about; it’s something that should influence and redeem our behavior every single day:

If we’re honest, many of us do wonder what difference the resurrection has made in the practical realities of our lives. We still argue with our spouses and loved ones; we still have children who go their own way. We have difficulties at work or at school. We still see a world so broken by warfare, selfish greed, oppression and sin. Like the two men on the road to Emmaus recounting the events surrounding Jesus, perhaps we wonder aloud: “But we had hoped that he was the one to redeem Israel” (Luke 24:21a). Things seem pretty much as they were before Easter Sunday, and the reality of our same old lives still clamor for redemption.

This is often the way we feel if we have only understood resurrection as an event long past that only speaks to a future yet to come. We feel this way if we do not connect Jesus’s prayer for God’s will to be done “on earth as it is in heaven” with the reality of the cry, “He is risen, as he said.” The glimpse into the kingdom of God that we get in the life and ministry of Jesus is ratified through the resurrection. New creation, new life, resurrected living is now a possibility for those who follow Jesus.around the corner, it’s easy to mentally set the message of Easter aside until next spring.

The church is based on the resurrected Jesus. When the resurrected Jesus came to the disciples, they were locked in the upper in fear of the Jews.  So Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Jesus had come to not only them save from sin but to be His spokesmen. They had a story to tell.  They had a gospel to proclaim.

Without the resurrected Christ we have no message. But now that we do have the message, what are we doing with it?  We are living in an unprecedented time—I get tired of hearing that but it is true.  And yet the requirements of a disciple have always been the same. Jesus says, Luke 14:26, “If anyone comes to Me, and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be My disciple.  27“Whoever does not carry his own cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”  Or again in Luke 9: 23, “And He was saying to them all, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.”

Because of the resurrection we have many privileges. We are freed from the bondage of sin, we are saved from the evil, and we became the sons and daughters of light.  We have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and power to do what God wants us to do.  But will it make a difference in our lives?  Will we be different disciples of Jesus than we were before?  Will we be His spokesmen?

Bob Kauflin  has said, “Many people will move on from Easter Sunday to an ordinary Monday, unaware of the significance of all they heard about the previous day. They’ll continue to fight sin in their own strength, think the meaning of life lies somewhere outside God’s provision in Christ, and battle a nagging fear of death. The resurrection will fade into the white noise of their lives, making no discernible impact.  Let’s not make the same mistake.”

We may be living in a different world, but we do not have a different Savior.  We do not have a different message.  We do not have a different power.  We are resurrection people everyday of the year, not just on Easter Sunday.  I pray that we will remember that this week as we live out our faith at home, at work, or on-line.  May God bless you!

Pastor George