He is risen! He is not in the tomb! Can this be true? Could Jesus rise from the dead!? This morning is the beginning of a new chapter for the apostles and for those who put faith in the person of Jesus. The person whom they thought was dead is no longer in the tomb! What does this all mean?!
Can you even imagine the feelings of the apostles? Just a week ago the twelve apostles, with Jesus, triumphantly entered Jerusalem. All was right with the world! What could go wrong? Then, on Thursday, one of their own, Judas, hands Jesus over to the Romans who then kill him the next day! But just a few days ago, scared and confused, the apostles are in hiding. What do we do when we are scared? Can you understand why the apostles fled and hid? I’m not trying to justify their actions, but trying to understand them.
Sunday morning, while the apostles are in hiding, some of the women followers excitedly enter their hiding spot screaming that the body of Jesus is missing from the tomb! Wait, that’s not all; they saw an angel who told them Jesus was alive! What?!
In a matter of days the apostles go from excitement to fear, to despair, to questioning their beliefs, to confusion to cautious optimism. Wow! Later, when Jesus appears to the apostles He does not reprimand them; rather, His first words are “Peace”.
What does this mean for us? In times of our lack of faith, when we feel shame about how we treat Jesus, we need to know that He is always there to welcome us back with a word; “peace”. We no longer need to hide in fear. We need to do what the apostles did; they left their hiding place and preached the risen Jesus to the world! Nothing short of a resurrection, with proof, could have taken away their fear. The apostles, without fear, now publicly preached that Jesus was the son of God risen from the dead. And for me, the only explanation for their new-found courage; they actually saw the risen Jesus.
Not too long ago the singing group “Fun” released their song “Carry On“. The song is one of perseverance, and while not written as a religious song, I feel it very well grasps the emotions of the apostles as they came to grips of what the Resurrection meant for them. Here is the final verse and chorus of the song:
Hold the phone
Show me how
No one’s ever gonna stop us now
Cause we are
We are shining stars
We are invincible
We are who we are
On our darkest day
When we’re miles away
So we’ll come
We will find our way home
If you’re lost and alone
Or you’re sinking like a stone
May your past be the sound
Of your feet upon the ground
Easter, in it’s spiritual sense, is not meant to be celebrated on one day, but to be lived every day! The sense of hope, forgiveness and new life are to be proclaimed and lived daily! No matter what life brings us, we are now meant to “carry on” knowing and feeling the excitement of the risen Jesus!
In our lives, what can we do to feel this excitement? How do we learn to “carry on”? Focus your attention and mind on the present moment; live the moment. The apostles felt their feelings in the moment, not knowing what was to come next. Live your moments; embrace them, feel them, experience them. Do the next right thing and then live that next moment. Before you know it, you will “find your way home” and “carry on.”