Read: Matthew chapter 28, Mark chapter 16, Luke chapter 24, & John chapters 20-21
Responses of the women, guards, religious leaders, disciples, Peter
The women in the Bible find out about Jesus’ resurrection. They are worried (Luke), they witness the angel speaking about Jesus’ resurrection, and they tell the disciples who have a hard time believing their words. Disciples heard from Jesus multiple times that He will live in three days, but the fear and disappointment overwhelmed their faith. Until Jesus visited them, the disciples were hiding away from the authority not knowing what their future is going to be. When Peter had a chance to sit and have a one-on-one conversation with Jesus, it was highlighted with the questions that Jesus threw at Peter. “Do you love Me?” He asks three times. Peter answers three times. Despite Peter’s coward actions when Jesus was suffering innocently, Jesus touches and heals the shame and guilt that Peter might have had. Since this day of conversation, Peter becomes a strong preacher of the Gospel.
The guards in the Bible also find out about Jesus’ resurrection (or at least the disappearance of His body) and become like dead men. Experiencing God’s power and being a witness can bring us fear. Facing God is a fearful event as He is great and His glory and power overwhelm us so greatly. Eventually, the guards head to the religious leaders about the disappearance of Jesus’ body. Religious leaders respond to the news in a very ill way. This is highly disappointing. The leaders are presumed as Godly by the laymen. Their actions and decisions influence the laypeople so greatly that it can jeopardize the people’s faith and belief in God. In the story of Jesus’ resurrection, the leaders give money and promote spreading false news. The sin is greater on the leaders and the guards as they KNOW that they are making up stories to protect their power and to save themselves from the accusal of crucifying Jesus.
What Easter means to me, and all of you
We celebrate Easter every year. It is festive, white and bright, happy and fun; that is a combination of good feelings and greetings. We enjoy a good meal after a week of “darkness,” egg hunt, bunnies, and warm and fuzziness blend just as well into the picture with the spring weather. It is a celebration of a one-time event that happened in the past. We decided when to celebrate by approximating the time and the date. Therefore, celebrating it annually does make sense.
Regardless, remember. the resurrection is NOT to be celebrated once a year. It is something we must celebrate every moment. Here is why. When Jesus entered Jerusalem, we discussed how He went to the temple and cleaned/condemned the people and the temple. We also made a comparison that it is what likely happens when we/people have the first encounter with Jesus. Now, this is the extension of that previous discussion. When we confront Jesus with our sins, instead of accepting Him, we are confronting His attempt to clean the temple – which is ourselves. We are His holy temples. Because of our sinful nature, habits, and stubbornness, we refuse to clean up the temple. Instead, we kill Jesus from our heart. Instead of letting Him cleanse us, we get rid of Him. He dies on the cross every moment we refuse Him.
And, this is not the end of the story. Here comes the reason why we should celebrate Easter. The very sin that we allowed in us, the sin which made us kill Jesus, the sin that grounded us so that we cannot reconcile with God has no power over God. God raised Jesus from the dead. Winning against all the sins. Whoever believes in Him shall be saved. Whoever does not, and turns his face away from the glory of God which was revealed in the resurrection of Jesus, will perish. That is the whole story. This is why Easter – a joyful Sunday with lots of decorations and bright faces – should be remembered every moment in our lives. As strong as the power of our sin over us, the joy of the victory grows to those who confess and believe.