Holidays come down with a splat for me once they are over. If I’d schedule a pity-party that is precisely when it would be. It’s symptomatic of intense preparation coupled with a lack of forward vision.
And so, in the aftermath of cleaning up and eating leftover lamb, I find in my quiet house the sort of repose I longed for before all the action began. It’s in this lull between storms I contemplate what a turbulent aftermath the disciples must have walked through. It’s not over yet.
Jesus’ disciples experienced a Monday-after like no other. Following a rollercoaster of grief and darkness when their Master died, a glorious Sunday of resurrection shone. Fear mingled with hope. Incredible promise opened and a million uncertainties filled their days. Surely they were swept into an exhilarating yet fearful tide.
When the world went back to work, they made sense of things.
Imagine what it must have been like walking with Jesus, on the road to Emmaus.
“Did not our hearts burn within us while he talked to us on the road, while he opened to us the Scriptures?” (Luke 24:32; ESV).
Think of standing behind locked doors when suddenly He stood in the room, interrupting their discussion about Him. “Touch me, and see…He showed them His hands and feet…Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures…” (Luke 24:36-47; ESV).
Picture sitting in the boat with Peter when a voice from shore called, “Children, do you have any fish?” My heart would have beat like a wild drum.
Forty unforgettable days Jesus appeared to them. Puzzle pieces they’d missed fit together. Snatches of conversations, miracles and teachings began to make sense. Events tumbled through their minds connecting threads and enlightening understanding. Scripture came to life.
God’s lovingkindness bent down to touch his bewildered followers with post-resurrection love, forgiveness and insight. He walked with them and talked with them. They ate together. Jesus showed how prophecy had been fulfilled. Their eyes opened and their beings overwhelmed with purpose and mission.
Jesus never meant it to end at the cross or even at the empty tomb.
“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.” Romans 5:10 NKJV
This fact of the gospel, Jesus’ death and resurrection, is our daily breath. It is the oxygen of the believer. It awakens us in the Monday morning aftermath and stays through each day of the week. We need it on this day, as we did on the day we first believed.
An alive Christ is necessary for faith and powerful for living. Easter, with its reminders of the roots of our faith begs us to return to its fundamentals. For without His death and His resurrection faith is empty.
Reconciled by His death, we shall be saved by His life.
Easter’s chaotic disruption turned the entire world upside down. I’m so glad it did. Let’s not put the Resurrection celebration away in a closet until the next time it comes around. For this remembrance is so massively important that Jesus remained forty days to walk and talk its meaning.
The glorious Resurrection gives us the assurance of what waits ahead. It births hope for now and a certainty for eternity. It promises victory. It offers transformation through the gift of salvation. As it was for Jesus’ disciples, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.