Wait a minute, isn’t Easter over? It’s true that Easter Sunday was a couple of weeks ago, but Easter is so important that is celebrated for 50 days! It is not every day that someone dies and rises again.
Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday (the first day of the week) and appeared to his followers, sometimes hundreds at a time, for a period of 40 days. After that he disappeared from their sight as they watched, telling them to remain in Jerusalem until the “power of the Holy Spirit” was given to them. This happened on the 50th day (Pentecost).
During the 40 days following the Resurrection, Jesus told his followers more about the “kingdom of God.” He explained more fully why he had come and what he was doing. His followers were ready to hear because Jesus’ crucifixion and Resurrection had broken down their preconceptions that Jesus’ mission was a political one to drive out the Romans. He did not do that, he did much more. He confronted and destroyed the effects of sin, evil, and death.It was a cosmic victory. The Jews had come to realize that sinful people are unable to bridge the gap dividing them from the holy God, yet they understood that they had been made for fellowship with God. God himself must bridge the gap. This is what Jesus had done. Although sin, evil, and death remain in the world, they are no longer ultimate realities for us. Through Jesus, God defeated sin, evil, and death and offers everyone eternal blissful life with him.
Jesus told his followers, “Peace be with you. As my father has sent me, so I send you.” What are we sent to say? That God offers us eternal life free of sin, evil, and death. What we need to do is to follow Jesus, listen to what he has to say, and put our trust in him. A good place to start is by reading the Gospel of Luke. And come by St. Barnabas on Sunday between 10 and 12. We’ll be there (in an appropriately hygienic, socially distanced way).