Forty days of preparation, self-denial, special church services, prayer fellowships, Bible meditations, well-decorated churches, early morning church gatherings, festivities and feasting with families – Yes, that’s our Easter! Probably we can add Easter eggs, Easter bunnies, Easter markets and Easter Monday holidays to the list even if Good Friday is not considered as a global holiday. This is the annual time for us to remember, announce and celebrate the resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
Though year after year, it helps shift focus from a busy routine to give on an average extra five percentage of our time to God, it is sadly true that in most occasions these forty days of spiritual changes gets buried on the Easter day. We look forward to getting back to the old routine and the time allotted for building our spiritual life slowly gets replaced with the everyday pressures that our life demands.
As we wake up this Easter morning with our hearts brimming with joy, our minds acknowledging the fulfilment of the Christmas purpose, our souls longing to have a closer walk with God and our lives eagerly awaiting to be transformed to a new one with the resurrection, let us see how the very first Easter impacted the first believers.
The book of Acts starting from Chapter 2 records the after-effects of the Easter that gave us new life. Their churches were not decorated with materialistic things but with love. Jesus died on the cross so that we can be spotless and have gifts that we do not deserve. Jesus died on the cross to bring about a celebration within our hearts, to grant inner peace, to renew broken lives and to show the way of life.
According to Acts 4:32-33, “All the believers were in one heart and mind. No one claimed that any of their possessions was their own, but they shared everything that they had. With great power, the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all.”
The verses we are meditating upon says that the apostles continued to testify the resurrection of Jesus and God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all. Doesn’t this mean that the message of Easter is not seasonal? With greater threats, enlightenment, different schools of modern thoughts, increasing indifferences and insecurities, do we feel it is getting difficult to continually testify the resurrection of Jesus? If our answer is yes, my dear friends we are absolutely mistaken.
The situations during the days of the apostles were similar or even worse. They were a new group forming up, having just witnessed the torturous way in which Jesus their Lord had been treated, and were subjected to mockery and wrath. Nevertheless, they continued to testify. They persisted, persevered and the powerful grace of God was with them. Let us remember, it is the same Lord we are celebrating today.
The consequences of the first Easter brought believers together with one heart and one mind. They had become spiritually so mature that materialistic desires were no longer a barrier for the advancement of the church.
As we celebrate Easter today, are we of one heart and one mind? Has the real purpose of the Lord’s sacrifice on the cross and His Sovereign power over the death united us as believers beyond differences in culture, country, race or opinions?
May this Easter be an experience that makes us alive in the risen Christ? As we say Christ is risen indeed on this Easter day, may we resurrect from the blinding factors misleading us and be united with one heart and one mind to continually testify this joyful news.