I love Easter. Not the commercialized bunny and chicks thing, but the whole Jesus-rising-from-the-dead celebration. I love the traditions we celebrate as “Lent” and Holy Week,” and all the rich meaning we find in those remembrances: Ash Wednesday, 40 days of renewed focus, Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday…and then the biggest day, the reason for our entire Christian faith…Resurrection Day! There has to be a death for there to be a resurrection. But THE resurrection ends the sting of death, it’s been conquered! The grave is not the end, just a doorway.
Now we have celebrated Easter. Perhaps, like me, you spent more time than usual last week reading the Bible and examining some of the stories around the Last Supper, Jesus’ arrest, trial, crucifixion, resurrection, and first appearances to His followers. These stories are found near the end of all four Gospels, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Now what? What do we do this week?
Did the disciples wonder that, also? These men left their careers and families to follow Jesus for 3 years, and had quite the adventure in the process. But now that seems to be over. Last week was a very crazy week for them. Their leader was betrayed, arrested and killed in a matter of hours…but a couple of days later He’s not dead and they’ve seen Him alive…just not as often as, like, before…
So now what are they supposed to do? In John 21, Peter makes up his mind. For a couple of years, under Jesus’ daily direction, Peter was a revolutionary, a healer, a demon-crusher. He saw the world in a whole new way! But that was before he denied Him. Now Peter decides to go back to being a fisherman. I mean, a man’s gotta eat; he’s gotta do something to earn a living. A couple of the other disciples joined him. But God had a different plan. He didn’t give them all that experience and teaching so they could go back to the way they were before they met Jesus. No, Jesus had a new life for them. He singled Peter out, maybe because Peter knew he deserved to be rejected because he had rejected Jesus at the most pivotal time (as he understood). Jesus recommissioned Peter to ministry, “If you really love Me, care for …(and) feed My sheep…Follow Me!” Peter and the other disciples had a new mission, they
couldn’t wouldn’t go back to what they were before.
What about you? The Easter celebration is over for this year. We aren’t guaranteed another. Has your encounter with the resurrected Christ changed your life? Or have you just gone back to business as usual this week…Maybe because you don’t know what else to do?
Lord Jesus, help us to recognize You. Show us what You would have us do.