Not Just a Day, but a Lifetime
Today we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ with Easter Sunday. After three days the tomb was empty and He was gone, but the disciples had difficulty in believing that He was alive. Who wouldn’t? The implausibility of it was absurd. Some may have heard that He had raised His good friend Lazarus in Bethany from the dead, but surely that was a rumor, or just another parable that had been whispered between townships.
As Christians, we have evidence that Christ is indeed alive. Later in the Gospels and in Acts we hear that Christ appeared to many: the women at the tomb, two men on the way to Emmaus, the eleven disciples, and again to all twelve disciples when Thomas could see for himself the risen Christ. Over the next few weeks, Christ even appeared to 500 at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6).
All encounters didn’t occur on Easter Sunday. It must have been an anxious time for those who wanted to believe but had no proof. In the forty days between Easter and Ascension Thursday, Christ appeared in person to give them the proof and commend them to go share the good news with others.
As we go about these 50 days of the Easter Season between Easter Sunday and Pentecost when the Holy Spirit comes to us, a prayer from the New Zealand Prayer Book for the 1st Sunday of Easter reminds us why Jesus came at all:
through the resurrection of your Son,
help us to face the future
with courage and assurance
knowing that nothing in death or life
can ever part us from your love.
Jesus, we believe you; all we heard is true.
You break the bread; we recognize you,
You are the fire that burns within us;
Use us to light the world.
by the glorious resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
you have broken the power of death
and brought life and immortality to light;
grant that we who have been raised with him
may triumph over all temptation
and rejoice in the hope of eternal glory;
through him who lives and reigns with you
and the Holy Spirit
one God now and for ever.
- New Zealand Prayer Book, pg. 595
Blessings, my friend,