Planting Joy for Easter—The Beginning, Week of April 1-7

easter dress

The Easter dress goes back into the closet. We scout around the yard for hidden eggs that the kids might have missed.    We make ham sandwiches with the leftovers from Sunday, and that is the end of Easter until next year.  But what if it is not “the end”?  What if it is the beginning?

The Gospel accounts of Jesus’ life give us a different picture of that First Day of the Week, Resurrection Day.  No bunnies or big meals, but many connections with important people in Jesus’ earthly life.  He did not just ‘hang up’ his experience on earth when he said, “It is done.” At the tomb, he visited with Mary Magdalene and several other women who had come to prepare his body for burial (Matthew 28:9).  Later he walked and ate with two disciples on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:15-31), and in the evening he appeared to all the disciples except for Thomas back in Jerusalem (John 20:19, 24).  For forty days, he visited and took meals with his followers in Galilee and Judea.  Paul recounts his appearance to 500 brothers of Galilee at one time (1 Corinthians 15:6)!

Jesus’ life on earth was not over with his ascension.  In fact, it was just beginning.  What God had planned, and the joy for which Jesus endured the suffering on the cross, was now a reality because of the resurrection.  Now Jesus’ life was not limited to one earthly body.  In fact, now he would live and do his work through multitudes of men and women.  His hands, his feet, his voice, and his energy—multiplied by as many as come to him and make him the Lord of their lives!  Jesus is alive and he is alive on earth.

Not only is Jesus alive because of the resurrection, we are alive because of the resurrection.  If we are a part of his church, his Kingdom, we have eternal life.  However, we have new life and purpose for our earthly existence as well.  Because He dwells in us, the life we lead takes on a different significance. His power in us will help us fulfill his purpose for us.  I hope that you live life with the joy of what it means that Jesus is alive, and if you are his follower, he is alive in you!  And every new day is just the beginning.

Meditate on these passages as you live your resurrection life: Acts 2:38; Acts 4:31; Romans 6:4; Ephesians 1:13.  Check out “Go Deeper” for more discussion of the victory we have in Jesus.