Tag Archives: Eastertide

Life after Easter

“So. Jesus the Way, the ways of Jesus. He shows the way. He also is the way. He doesn’t point out the way and then step aside and let us get there our own as best we can. Jesus points out the way, but then he takes the initiative, inviting us to go with him, taking us with him across land and sea, through all kinds of weather, avoiding dead ends and seductive byways, watching out for danger and alerting us to enemies.”

| Eugene H. Peterson, The Jesus Way: a conversation on the ways that Jesus is the way

Where do we go now? We’ve reached the end of the story for Jesus. He died, was buried and has been resurrected. It’s the end of the road for his disciples, right? We can go home too.

Jesus’s resurrection is the high point of our liturgy. “Christ is risen; he is risen indeed.” Our work here is done, yes? No and not so fast.

We still have a long way to go. “Thy kingdom come.” There are also some changes that still need to take place. “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

After the resurrection, we are commissioned with the disciples. Jesus says to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore 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 that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matthew 28.18-20, NRSV). Jesus tells the disciples to get moving. His work is finished but ours has only begun.

Hands extended on a cross are now shooing us out the door. “Go out into the world and talk to strangers. Spread out and spread the word. Make students of my teachings,” Jesus says.

He adds, “And you have all that you need: God above you, the Holy Spirit within you and me walking with you every step of the way. And don’t you worry; I’m never leaving you again.” We will not lose him again; we will not come this way, pass by his tomb in sorrow again.

The worst is behind us and the kingdom of God is before us. Life after Easter looks like that of the early Church as recorded in the book of Acts. As the wind of the Holy Spirit blows, we, like Peter, John and the other disciples, walk in the authority of Jesus’s name. Preaching, teaching, baptizing, serving, our hands are extended. Jesus is and likewise, we are just getting started.

Life after the Resurrection

resurrection-tombLet every man and woman count himself immortal. Let him catch the revelation of Jesus in his resurrection. Let him say not merely, ‘Christ is risen,’ but ‘I shall rise.’
~ Phillips Brooks

Jesus has beaten death with his hands pinned to a cross.  This is no arm wrestle.  His victory gives new meaning to the expression, “He won hands down.”  But, it is not just his hands but his feet that were held down– not with hands but nails.  And he did it without the assistance and intervention of God, forsaken (Matthew 27.46).  He is the undefeated even when his divinity is held back.  This is the power of God!

He is fixed to the cross, secured to suffer.  There is no wiggle room as his movements will only cause pain.  The Christ is captured; the omnipresent God is held in place and made a spectacle by creation.  They have nailed the Hands that feed them.

Afterwards, his body is taken down, placed in a tomb and they roll a stone over the One who can make rocks cry out. The juxtaposition is almost unbelievable.  It is only possible because God allows it.  The story does not fall apart because God is holding it together.

And this is not the end of it.  Wait!  There’s more.

Jesus gets up.  Jesus has been raised from the dead and though not screaming fans, this performance causes the guards to faint (Matthew 28.4).  He is the undefeated God.

He is finished with the cross and the tomb. But, he is not finished with his disciples.  He is not finished with us.  There is life and purpose after the resurrection because Jesus must now teach us how to rise.