The Days After
As the once wide doors of the sanctuary that had been brimming with the faces of eager guests are at last shut and bolted, as the final egg has been carefully hidden and then discovered with much delight, and as our family members and friends arduously push themselves away from their Sunday dinners to say their goodbyes, we at once come upon this sobering truth: Easter 2017 has come to an end.
But as we “put a bow” on all of the festivities that accompany the holiday, we must always be mindful of the fact that at Easter we celebrate a day like no other in the history of the world. We celebrate how, in one mighty act, God dealt a fatal blow to death, sin, shame, condemnation, and to all of the hosts of darkness. At the same time, the resurrection of Christ brought life, healing, and salvation to all who would put their faith in him. The hope of our victory is rooted intrinsically in the victory won by Christ when he burst forth from the clutches of death.
This being the case, there still remains a question that is worth asking: “What happens to life after Easter?”
After all the excitement of the Easter season has passed, how do we continue to live in the victory won for us by Jesus Christ?
In 1739 Charles Wesley penned the lyrics to a hymn that was sung at many a church, including my own, this past Easter Sunday.
The title and first line of this hymn read, “Christ the Lord is risen today!” The weight of these words is beyond comparison, and I believe that it is in the understanding of this proclamation that the Christian is able to persist year-round in the victory that we celebrate at Easter.
Notice that Wesley does not write that Jesus Christ “has risen,” or that he “was risen,” but that “Christ the Lord IS risen.”
Those words ring as true today as they did on the day of the resurrection, and they will continue to ring true in every day that follows. Because of this, the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is not just something that we should celebrate as a historic event, but it is something that we should revel in daily because of the immediacy with which it confronts our present. The resurrection of Jesus is not the only resurrection story in the Bible (2Kings 13:21; John 11), but Jesus is the only man that, once resurrected, retained this life forevermore. Understanding that Jesus Christ IS risen allows for believers to walk in the confidence of victory every day, because we are in Christ, whose life is an ever-present testimony to his unrelenting triumph over all of the powers of darkness in our world.
What Can I do?
Here are three things that all believers should do daily as we seek to walk consistently in the victory that Christ has won:
- Remind yourself every morning that Jesus Christ is currently risen from the dead, today, just as He was on the first Easter Sunday.
- Pray that the Lord would show you how to walk in the victory that Christ has won for you, regardless of the current circumstances of your life.
- Know that Christ is not only risen, but He is ascended to the Father where He is always appealing to God on your behalf. (Rom 8:34)
“Christ the Lord is risen today, Alleluia!”