The Week After: What Do We Do Now That Easter is Over?

by | Faith Lived Out

The “big” day is over now. There are probably some unfound Easter eggs spoiling in the heat. Thousands of stories of the unrolled stone have been amplified to regular churchgoers, as well as those who hadn’t been to church since Christmas. Pastors are resting up from one of the most attended days of the year. Half-eaten chocolate bunnies are wrapped up on the kitchen table. Parents are cleaning up the plastic grass they filled the baskets with, finding those annoying strings all over the house.

It’s just another day of the week. Time to get up and go to work. Time for ball practice for the kiddos. Schedules return to frantic mode. Bosses still demand expectations you can’t live up to. Bills still show up in the mail. Moms still need some private time. Dads still dream about early morning fishing. Inmates still serve their time. Doctors still perform surgery. The janitor still cleans the toilets at school. People still die. Life goes on. Hmm…. do those last two sentences go together? Sometimes I wonder about my writing.

We spent last week hearing the story of Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection. But now the “hype” is over. Now it’s just Thursday. We have 51 more weeks left before the next go around. Now it’s just Thursday.

But what if it doesn’t have to be? 

We often become so focused on the “big” day. The day Jesus rose. The most powerful day in history, no doubt. The day that saved my life. The day that saved your life. And we should be focused on that day. But what happened after Jesus rose from the dead? What happened after the stone was rolled away? What happened after Jesus folded the burial cloth as if to say, “I’m not finished yet?”

Life happened, but not life as usual. 

Everything changed. Word continued to spread about this Savior, Jesus, who was actually the real deal. Peter, the most volatile of all the disciples, literally started the church. People fell so in love with Jesus they gave up everything to serve Him. Thousands upon thousands of people devoted their lives to this Jesus everyone had been talking about. This Jesus who could heal. This Jesus who was saving lives. This Jesus who was casting out demons. And 2,000 years later, Jesus is still doing the things He promised He would.

Life couldn’t go back to normal for the disciples. You can’t see a man, who happened to be God in the flesh, rise from the dead then make you breakfast around a charcoal fire and just expect your life to go back to normal. It doesn’t work that way. A real encounter with Jesus changes everything. Everything. 

Matthew couldn’t go back to it just being another Thursday. Andrew couldn’t just take his kiddos to ball practice as though nothing had ever happened. James Z. couldn’t just return to his regularly scheduled program of life. Luke couldn’t just return to his medical practice as though he hadn’t seen the dead come to life. John Z., Philip, Nathaniel, Thomas, James, the other Judas, and Simon Z., couldn’t just go back to “normal” whatever that looked like.

And Peter.. Oh, Peter.. There was no way he could ever catch another fish again without thinking of Jesus. He’d betrayed the very one whom saved his life, yet Jesus showed up fixed him some breakfast and said, “Peter, feed my sheep. Peter, you’re building the church.” You can’t go back from that.

So, what are we doing after the resurrection of Jesus?

Are we living life as usual, or are we living life with a knowing that Jesus Christ died a bloody death, was buried, and then resurrected to fulfill every single promise God had ever made, and is still fulfilling? 

If our lives are just back to normal until we meet at church again to celebrate Easter, we’re in big trouble. We’re missing the purpose. We’re deceived by the distraction of the enemy. And now is the time to wake up and live as though we know WE HAVE BEEN RESURRECTED WITH CHRIST. 

Do we return to our schedules? Yes. Do we return to ball practice? Sure. Do we still clean toilets, do laundry, make dinner, balance our checkbook, walk the dog, and pay the bills? Yes. But everything about the way we show up should be different, because we have experienced the resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

We should be shouting from the rooftops that we’ve been resurrected. That our old lives no longer control us, because Jesus has changed us.

We should be making disciples as Jesus commanded us after He rolled that stone away and walked with His peeps before He ascended to the right hand of God.

We should be walking as though no one doubts Jesus is walking with us.

We should be casting out demons in His name, speaking in new languages, healing the sick.

We should be breaking bread together.

We should believe in the power of Jesus to change lives.

We should feed His sheep.

We should be following Him.

Most importantly, we are to be the church. 

Are we just following Him on Easter Sunday when we show up in our best dressed attire, then eat some potato salad that afternoon? Or are we following Him the other 364 days too, with a knowing that because He rolled that stone away, we can be free! 

It’s not just another Thursday. We’ve been changed. Let’s live like it.