The day we set aside to celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, commonly known as Easter, may be my favorite day of the year. At sunrise, we all meet at the church for a sunrise service, followed by wonderful fellowship around breakfast, Sunday school, church, a huge dinner with family, evening church, all filled with songs of the resurrection. The preaching of the day is all about the crucifixion and resurrection, the cornerstones of the Christian faith. Around 14-15 hours after starting the day I will plop down on the couch exhausted, but jubilant. I love the day.
By now, you may be wondering if your newspaper printed this column a few weeks late. Trust me; they have published it on time.
The Bible records 12 appearances of Jesus after the resurrection. On the first Easter Sunday, he appeared to Mary Magdalen, the other women, two disciples on the road to Emmaus, Peter, and the Apostles without Thomas. After Easter Sunday, over the next several weeks, he appeared at the Sea of Galilee to seven of the disciples, to five hundred people, at Galilee with all eleven apostles, James, at the ascension, and at the conversion of Paul after His ascension.
Take note this is the all-star team of the people who changed the world after the resurrection. They all made a difference because Easter made a difference in them. Has this year’s Easter made a difference in you?
Some people are not the religious type. Rarely, if ever, go to church and the day came and went like any other weekend day.
Others, who are not necessarily religious, but they make an effort on Easter. Some in this group will attend church periodically throughout the year; some will only be there Easter Sunday. Easter is a busy, happy, day, but when Easter Monday rolls around life goes back to normal.
Then there are those that are the worker bees of the church. They are there every week. Easter is an extra special day for them; this group has two different parts. For one part Easter is a joyous occasion. They may be tired at the end of the day, but it is a good tired. The day has been an excellent, memorable experience. The other subgroup here looks forward to Monday more than Sunday because it will all finally be over.
When the first Easter morning dawned the Apostles were in hiding; the women were looking to embalm the body of their Saviour. By the time the day was over, none of their lives would be the same. Easter Monday, after the first Easter, was a joyous day filled with hope and anticipation. Over the next few weeks, Christ makes several one-on-one talks with those filled with doubt (Thomas) and shame (Peter). By the time He ascended into heaven, His followers are ready to conquer the world, and they did. Easter changed everything for this group of people.
Because of Easter has God made any difference in you?
We all know what happened Easter Sunday, we are all aware Christ rose from the dead. Just knowing the facts and celebrating the day does not create a change in an individual’s life. Could you imagine how life would change if someone you know and love, who had died just a few days before suddenly appeared in the room, walked eight miles down the road with you, sat alone by the fire with you and asked, not once, but three times, if you loved them? After about six weeks, the person tells you, to tell everyone you can about what has happened then you never see them again.
Would experiencing all that cause you to be His witness at every possible place? It did those who lived it.
We celebrate the resurrection, and some people will do things Easter Sunday they do not do any Sunday the rest of the year. Some get up in the wee hours of the night to cook for the church breakfast, many will buy new clothes for the celebration, but now that is over; weeks have passed; are you telling anyone about Him?
His dying words were, “It is finished” but his last words were, “…ye shall be witnesses unto me …”
Are you telling anyone about Him?
Has Easter made a difference?