We have reached the end of another Lenten season. We have walked with Jesus through the holiest of weeks of Jesus’ betrayal, denial, brutality and pain and celebrated or rather rejoiced at the empty tomb with his disciples. Jesus Is Risen! In case you hadn’t noticed, Easter is my absolute favorite time or holiday or Sunday of the year. The word triumphant echoes in my brain as I celebrate Christ’s victory over sin and death. My victory of over sin and death even though I am not worthy to claim it!
As Bible readers and Christians, we know the “rest of the story” and it would be easy for us to point our fingers at these followers and call them clueless. However these apostles had not yet received the Spirit who would show them the bigger picture. Once the Holy Spirit’s fire burned within them, they went global. On the day known as Pentecost, the Spirit came to the Christ-followers and an amazing thing happened. They spoke in many different languages from all over the region, whether Arab, Roman, Persian, Egyptian or Liberian. Those are just a few of the languages the people heard the apostles speak of their time with Jesus as well as the meaning of his death and resurrection. People from all nations heard their message, believed and were baptized. All of those new believers went back to their homes, families and friends and shared with them the Good News as well. Today we would say their message went viral! Before Jesus ascended to the Father, he commanded his followers in Matt 28: 19-20, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” The world would never be the same as his apostles offered everyone the free gift of God’s love, grace and forgiveness.
I think this is why I love Easter so much. It is a time of cleansing, renewal, and rejoicing. Ash Wednesday ushers in 40 days of reflection and contemplation of what we consider is important to us and what are we willing to sacrifice even for a short time. During this time some people choose to give up something like social media or chocolate while others change their normal routines and find ways in which to serve others. By the time Palm Sunday arrives we are ready to sing praises and wave palm branches to celebrate the Messiah but deep inside we know what is to come for God’s Son, Jesus. On Maundy Thursday we sit with the disciples as Jesus washes their feet and join in the Passover celebration. Along with these disciples, we are disillusioned by his is betrayal, denial, conviction and sentencing. Finally on Good Friday we walk with him to the cross and watch as he is crucified and he dies. By the end of this Holy Week, we are so ready for a Savior and the hope of new life! On Easter morning, we meet the women at the tomb to hear the words, “He Is Risen!” The darkness is covered in light! We rejoice with the weeping woman when we hear the Teacher call out to her, “Mary!” We feel the disciple’s awe and shock when their Master appears before them and they can touch his wounds and feel his mighty presence once again. And just like those followers we too hear his command to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” It certainly is a triumphant Easter!!