I love Easter Sunday! “Up from the grave He arose,” we sang with joy. “Do you believe?” I challenged those gathered, preaching that Jesus’ Resurrection makes all the difference in how we live, and I do believe! Today is ‘the day after.’ Life returns to ‘normal.’. The music has stopped, the decorations are all taken down. Now what?
Two men were walking the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus on the day after. The crucifixion had drained them of all hope. The Jesus they loved died on the cross in disgrace. Their dreams of the Kingdom died with him. As they walked, they shared a conversation in hushed tones about the tragedy. “They were deep in conversation, going over all these things that had happened. In the middle of their talk and questions, Jesus came up and walked along with them. But they were not able to recognize who he was. He asked, “What’s this you’re discussing so intently as you walk along?” They just stood there, long-faced, like they had lost their best friend. Then one of them, his name was Cleopas, said, “Are you the only one in Jerusalem who hasn’t heard what’s happened during the last few days?” (Luke 24:13-18, The Message)
They told Jesus about their confusion. Seems that some women were reporting an empty tomb and an encounter with angels! Some other disciples went and confirmed the tomb was empty, but they did not see Jesus. It amazes me that they could have this lengthy conversation with the Lord and not recognize Him, but I know that we often see only what we expect to see. And so they walked and talked with Him without knowing who He was. Later, over dinner, the Man offered prayer and broke the loaf of bread and they realized it was HIM! “Jesus quoted passages from the writings of Moses and all the prophets, explaining what all the Scriptures said about himself.” (24:27) He encouraged them, then as suddenly as He came, He was gone! But, they were changed and they headed back to Jerusalem with yet another amazing story about the Risen Lord.
On this Monday, the day after, go back to the songs and sermons, open the Gospel of Luke to chapter 24. Take time to reflect on the Story, on the meaning of it all, on where you go from here. The second look will provide greater clarity. Ask this important question, ‘what does this mean for my life now?’ Don’t be a Chreaster! (A Christian who only celebrates Christmas and Easter) Jesus Christ walks with us each day if we walk with Him. In fact, the real work of the Christian begins the day after.
Jesus directed the disciples to stay in Jerusalem, to wait prayerfully for the Spirit to come! The Resurrection morning was a beginning, not an end, in the work of the Kingdom of God. “You will receive power when the Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses,” Jesus told them. What power it was. “Everyone was filled with awe, and many wonders and miraculous signs were done by the apostles. All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need. Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:43-47, NIV)
Here’s a word from the Word – possibly my favorite passage from Scripture. Be inspired, be full of hope, receive the Spirit!
“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can understand the wonderful future he has promised to those he called. I want you to realize what a rich and glorious inheritance he has given to his people. I pray that you will begin to understand the incredible greatness of his power for us who believe him.
This is the same mighty power that raised Christ from the dead and seated him in the place of honor at God’s right hand in the heavenly realms. Now he is far above any ruler or authority or power or leader or anything else in this world or in the world to come. And God has put all things under the authority of Christ, and he gave him this authority for the benefit of the church. And the church is his body; it is filled by Christ, who fills everything everywhere with his presence.” (Ephesians 1:18-23, NLT)
Low in the grave He lay,
Jesus, my Savior;
Waiting the coming day,
Jesus my Lord.
Vainly they watch His bed,
Jesus, my Savior;
Vainly they seal the dead,
Jesus, my Lord.
Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes!
He arose a Victor from the dark domain
And He lives forever with His saints to reign,
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah, Christ arose!
© Words: Public Domain