What do you do after Easter? What comes after Resurrection Sunday?
Part One of the resurrection story involves the forty days leading up to Easter. This period is often called Lent and observers of Lent “give up” something of value to them, perhaps in the areas of food, time or pleasure. The individual makes some significantly personal sacrifice. Part Two of the resurrection story is often called Passion Week, for it calls reverent attention to the activities of Jesus during the week before his death: the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the Passover and institution of the Lord’s Supper, Good Friday – -the day of his crucifixion. Part Three is the climactic celebration of Jesus’ resurrection: early sonrise/sunrise service, special Easter worship with its attending preparation and pomp at church and feasting at home. Consider that the global focus upon the events leading up to the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus ends gloriously / triumphantly with the “empty tomb.” Indeed, the story often ends with the preacher exclaiming, “He got up with all power in his hand!” This is usually the end of our focus, too, as believers, but the resurrection story does not end here.
Remember Paul Harvey, the noted radio personality who was famous for his recurring program, “The Rest of The Story,” in which he would cleverly provide frequently undisclosed details about a popularly known event? Similarly, there is more to the Resurrection story. The next section of Part Three begins here and continues for forty days — until the disciples see Jesus ascend to heaven on a cloud. Yes, it is true! The Bible tells us that Jesus was seen by many and interacted with many, for forty days after he was resurrected from Joseph’s new tomb!
After his death, he presented himself alive to them [disciples] in many
different settings over a period of forty days. In face-to-face meetings,
he talked to them about things concerning the kingdom of God. . . . “What
you’ll get is the Holy Spirit. And when the Holy Spirit comes on you,
you will be able to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, all over Judea and Samaria,
even to the ends of the world. ” These were his last words. As they watched,
he was taken up and disappeared in a cloud.
-Acts 1:3, 8-9 Message
What is significant about these forty days? Forty is regarded as the number for the period of testing in scripture. Some examples: Jesus withstood Satan’s temptations in the wilderness for forty days; the children of Israel wandered for forty years in the wilderness; Noah was in the ark for forty days and nights while rain fell. The forty-day post-resurrection period was a time of testing of sorts, not tests for Jesus to pass, but for the benefit of the people, for them to interact with him in his newly resurrected body. Clearly, Jesus wanted to erase doubt and provide proof of his resurrection; he wanted the purpose of his resurrection as the Messiah to be known; and he wanted his ministry to continue and spread throughout the world.
What did Jesus do after his resurrection?
Consider these post-resurrection appearances of Jesus. The women were the first to see the Risen Savior. He met with his disciples in the upper room in Jerusalem. He reconciled with Peter who had denied him. He was seen by five hundred brethren at once. He conversed with his disciples while they were fishing on the Sea of Galilee. Thus, he made sure his disciples knew the rest of his resurrection story: He is alive!
Then he charged them with “the great commission”: to be witnesses for him.
What did the disciples do after Jesus’ resurrection?
Yes admittedly, their first response to his crucifixion was great fear for their own safety. However, after Jesus appeared to them in the upper room, they decided to be obedient and wait for the promise – – the Holy Ghost – – as Jesus had instructed them to do. On the day of Pentecost, they became empowered with the Holy Ghost and were witnesses for Jesus just as he had said they would be.
Now, what do we as believers do after Jesus’ resurrection?
Repeating the opening questions.
What do you do after Easter?
What should we be doing afterResurrection Sunday?
We have the same instructions as the disciples:
1) Wait for the promise – – the Holy Ghost.
2) Then be Jesus’ witnesses.
How will you spend your next forty days of this post- Resurrection period? Will you just continue celebrating your salvation with like –minded folk? Will you accept Jesus’ charge and get out of your comfort zone? Will you put your belief in action? Jesus wants us to actively believe in him!
If you believe that Jesus was crucified, died on the cross, was buried in Joseph’s new tomb and that on the third day Jesus arose – – That’s good, but that is not enough believing.
If we tell all these beliefs to those who do not know who Jesus is – – Now that’s best, that’s active believing!
I’ll tell of the Savior,
I’ll tell of His favor.
I’ll tell it wherever I go!
To whom will you witness about Jesus, our Redeemer?
lives, that he’s living down in your soul!”
may the Holy Spirit empower
you to witness boldly and often!