May 16, 2017

A Reflection On the Aftermath Of Easter

A Reflection on the Aftermath of Easter - Emmanuel Naweji

I know Easter is well gone.

But, the purpose why we celebrate Easter is an ongoing story.

Easter, or the celebration of Christ’s resurrection, took place three days after His death. The way I personally look at this event is based on an empty cross and empty tomb. These two represent the idea that Christ wants us beyond these two places because He was no longer there.

Jesus did not stay on the cross. Nor did he stay in the tomb for good. Instead, and when He was on the cross just before His death, He said to one of the thieves who was also crucified with Him that day:

I assure you that today you will be with me in paradise. Luke 23: 43, CEB. 

Clearly, the cross is not the place where you and I are to stay. The cross is just like a rest area. You go there to vent out or unload yourself so that all your burdens (sin, fears, anxieties, stress, anger, etc.) can stay there. You find relief and are ready to hit the road again going to your destination.

Your journey continues. But, when you get to the tomb, that is not either where you should stay.

At the tomb, God, through the angels, wanted the disciples to go and meet with Jesus in Galilee. Read Mark 16: 7, Matthew 28: 7.

Where Jesus wants us is beyond Easter, beyond the cross and the tomb. He waits for us in the aftermath of Easter.

There are three things, I believe, happened in the aftermath of Easter and that’s what should be our focus in our everyday living.

First, you have access to God’s promises

God’s promises are found in the Bible. As you read Scripture, you notice that they were originally intended for Abraham and his descendants, the people of Israel. 

But, when Jesus came, He opened a door for anyone, from any background, to also access to all God’s promises. Read Ephesians 3: 12 and Hebrews 4: 16.

The entire Bible has therefore become God’s written promises He’s made for you.

Doesn’t this make you so special in God’s eyes?

Yes, you truly matter before God.  

Second, you have a clear sense of God’s plan for you

What makes you matter before God and be so special in His eyes is because God has a very important plan with your life. 

His plan is not to harm you, but to give you a future and a hope. Read Jeremiah 29: 11.

You find God’s plan in the Bible and in both the Old and New Testaments.

You also get lots of clarity on God’s plan for your life as you draw near to Him.

Just like in any other relationship, you get to know better the other person by spending time with them as well as listening to them.

Set some time aside on a daily basis to be with God. And, practice the discipline of listening to God.

  • Prayer is one way to do it. Pray by yourself as you also do it with other people. 
  • Reading Scripture with anticipation to hear God’s voice is another.
  • Journal. It does not matter how often you do it and what you use to do it. Find a few minutes a day to write down what comes to your mind. You’ll be surprised to see how your listening skill will grow over time. 

Third, you discover God’s calling in your life. 

Doing the above will help you tremendously with clarity, not only about God’s plan for yourself, but more importantly on how to respond to God’s plan.

This will be a result of the ability to hear God’s voice.

You’ll discover, not only your passions, but ways you should align yourself to what you think God’s calling is in your life.

This post is based on the upcoming sermon series I will deliver at the United Methodist Church in Harris and Lake Park (Iowa). There are two ways you will be able to learn with me in the next four weeks.