Easter Reading: John 20:19-31
When is the next public holiday? The Easter weekend is done, we had our celebration, we move on. Yes, we do, but how? How will we now live given Jesus died for our sins, and overcame the grave? What difference does the Easter story make?
Traditionally, Easter is not done yet. Beginning on Resurrection Sunday, Easter has seven Sunday’s, before Pentecost. On his Resurrection, Jesus was not done yet. This incredible victory Jesus had won, was just the beginning. Standing among his first followers on that first Easter Sunday, Jesus said,
“Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.” John 20:21-23 NIV
Jesus gave these fearful first followers, power, and authority to join his mission and bring his liberty to more people. The mission of the Father and the Son is now shared as the mission of the Church. Our role is to go into the world and continue what Jesus has begun. We can do this with confidence, courage, and a conviction that God is at work through us.
Do we comprehend what it means to have the power and authority of Jesus? The Apostle Paul must have thought it was difficult for Christians to understand. He wrote a prayer, which you might pray as we move from Easter and continue God’s mission,
“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come.” Ephesians 1:18-21 NIV