Easter has come and gone. We have celebrated the death and resurrection of The Lord whom we follow. Well, some of us did. Others were at home with visiting family members and friends who travelled long distances to come; still others travelled long distances on the long weekend to visit with others. So, the numbers may have been smaller but the celebration was real. Christ is risen! He has risen indeed!
And now it is Monday after the long weekend. And…
What difference did the remembrance and celebration of Easter and the resurrection make? Whether you remembered it at home while entertaining others or with believers in an assembly, worshipping and listening to a teaching from God’s Word – what difference did Easter make in your life. What is different today as you headed back to “normal” as a result of His death and resurrection? How has this annual reminder of the resurrection of Christ from death and hell impacted your life? Or, was it just another long weekend with some added responsibilities and events that have left you feeling more drained and exhausted than usual?
There has been a lot of television coverage of Easter – the celebrations from many parts of the world being broadcast. Rome has been in the news with Pope Francis celebrating his second Easter in the Vatican. He prayed for peace in Ukraine and other hot spots in the world. Then the news came that some of the militia went to Easter mass in the local church, came back, picked up their guns resulting in three dead and an investigation into what happened begins… People processed through the streets of Jerusalem and visited the supposed spot where Jesus rose from the dead (they built a church building over the top of the tomb, I believe) …. And yet there is no peace in Israel as the struggle with the Palestinians continues and people are dying…
The Christians have been busy this past “Holy Week” and the world has hardly noticed and little, if anything, has changed.
Jesus was raised by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul the apostle writes that this same power that raised Him from the dead resides in us if we are born again and true disciples of Jesus. The resurrection and the message of the gospel of the Kingdom turned the known Roman world upside down as it spread quickly into all four corners of the empire and beyond. This happened because the early followers experienced the resurrected Jesus Christ. This message impacted and altered their personal lives and changed them forever as they experienced both the power and the presence of God. And now…
We go through the motions most times without the power or the presence. Ceremonies, pageantry, special services, dead popes becoming ‘saints’ as they are beatified and sainted, parades through the streets, tremendous teachings, special meals… to remember that Christ is risen.
AND, what difference has it all made in the lives of those who do not know Jesus and are living in sin?
AND, has it impacted the lives of believers bringing them to a place of deeper love and obedience?
AND, did the non-Christian world see, grasp, and receive the love of God that sent Jesus to the cross?
AND, did the Kingdom of God expand into those places still in spiritual darkness and bondage?
AND, did this celebration alter YOUR life in some way or was it just ‘another Sunday’?
If Jesus is alive, and He is… what difference has His death and resurrection made in your life? And how has that difference been seen in your life and through your lifestyle?
Christ is risen – and… It’s the AND that I am concerned about. Otherwise, we are guilty of simply having another “religion.” A born again religion but religion nonetheless. And religion is part of the darkness Jesus rose from the dead to free us from.