Easter doesn’t end with Easter Sunday and the Resurrection of Jesus. Really. That may signal the end of the Easter holiday but, in reality, Easter is just beginning. It will culminate with the Ascension of Jesus to the Father’s right hand and then, 10 days later, Pentecost and the pouring out of the Holy Spirit on the earth and the church of Christ being born. Resurrection is the beginning of the new covenant in Christ being born. So how are you entering into this time? For the 40 days before Easter we have Lent that helps us to die to ourselves in anticipation of the reality of resurrection. But what about for the 50 days after Easter? How will you enter into Jesus’ resurrection, anticipating the hope of the coming Spirit?
In Acts 1:3 we are told this about Jesus:
After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.
I find it fascinating that the priority for the Risen Christ wasn’t to appear to thousands of people offering proof of his victory over death, but instead, to teach his small band of disciples about the kingdom of God. Their lives, their teaching, their witness would be all the evidence needed that Jesus was Lord. As they learnt about how the kingdom of God worked they became transformed and all that Jesus had done and said started to make sense. This gives us an invitation for how we can spend the next 40-50 days…
Ask Jesus to speak to us about the kingdom of God.
For me this is about continually asking God for his help in aligning myself to his rule and his will. It’s asking for his help in showing me where I am trying to be in charge and repenting accordingly. It’s letting go of all the ways I expect God to follow the agenda I have for him instead of surrendering to his agenda. God’s answer is often this:
Look at Jesus and look to Jesus.
Jesus is perfect humanity in action. This is true after the resurrection as well. He is still perfectly human after conquering death. Every time I look at Jesus he isn’t serving his own reputation or status. He’s not at the mercy of crowds or leaders or his disciples. He lives in intimacy with his Father, and, led by the Spirit, he is always exactly where he needs to be, doing what he needs to be doing and revealing the kingdom, the rule, of God as he does so. Wouldn’t you love your life to be like that? I want to point people to God’s kingdom. I want them to die to every false kingdom they’ve ever pledged allegiance to. I want intimacy with God, a Spirit-led life and a friendship with Jesus that echoes through eternity.
So I commit myself to continuing the Easter journey. This next 40 days isn’t so much about dying, but about living. Living for, with and in the power of Jesus to the glory of God. Teach me Jesus. Lead me Spirit. Help me Father. And may you do the same for all my sisters and brothers reading this today.
May your Easter be blessed everyone.