Tuesday, April 14, 2009

After Easter

Whew! Easter was certainly a busy day for us – We got the kids ready for church; attended an early worship service; served at a couple of other services; hauled everyone to the in-law’s for lunch, egg hunts, and visiting with extended family; went home to load up food and change cloths; went to my parents to prepare dinner and for more eating, egg hunting, and game playing; traveled back home; got everyone ready for bed; collapsed.
And then . . . as I was resting my head on my nice, soft pillow - I wondered about that very first “Easter” night. That had been a pretty hectic day, too.

The disciples were all in hiding, afraid that the same thing that had happened to Jesus on Friday would also happen to them. They had pinned all of their hopes for their future, and the future of their people, on Jesus.
But He was captured, tortured, and killed.
The disciples weren’t in an upper room together to pray for what direction the ‘ministry’ was to take next. I’m convinced that they were all huddled together in fear and despair and on the very brink of renouncing whatever vestiges of ‘faith’ remained. Every noise they heard sent shivers down their spines, bringing dread that soldiers were at the door.
It was all over.
Then Mary Magdalene and the other Mary reported that Jesus was not in His tomb. What!?! And then two disciples reported that they had actually encountered Jesus on their way down to Emmaus! How . . ?!
No one knew what to make of all of that.
And then - and then - Jesus appeared in body right there among them!
They saw Him crucified, dead, and buried. Yet – there He was! Alive!
Jesus ministered to them and then they watched as He physically ascended into heaven. He told them to go and minister to others in His Name.


Do you think those disciples just laid their heads on their pillows and peacefully dozed off that night? Can you even imagine what was going on in their minds on that night?
The excitement.
The fantastic joy.
The unbelievable realization that Jesus had conquered death; that He was alive and with the Father; that He was Who He said He was; and He did what He said He’d do.
The anticipation of what was to come. The adrenaline. The eagerness to let others know the Truth!
They had to feel like they were about to burst.

And do you know what? Jesus is just as alive today.
The ‘good news’ is just as good.
He is real. He is risen. He is God.
He has appeared to us. He is with us.
Easter wasn’t a ‘once and done.’ It isn’t a ‘once a year.’
Easter is eternal – it bridges the gap between death and Life. Every day. For all days.
Are you excited about that? Are you really excited?

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!
Philippians 4:4

Happy to be made alive,
Craig Hollingsworth

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