Another Easter has passed. Perhaps you, like countless followers of Jesus around the world, were encouraged in your faith as you celebrated the Resurrection. But after the celebration, it’s good to take stock of your life and consider how the central events of that very first Easter have a deep and lasting relevance for all of us. As we move further into 2022, we need to ask ourselves, “Do we really grasp who Jesus is?”
Prior to the Resurrection, the disciples did not fully comprehend Jesus’ identity. For about three years they had listened to His anointed teaching and preaching, marveled at His power over the powers of evil, and observed His compassion for the sick, the poor, and the broken. They watched many miracles unfold, saw fractured lives transformed, and even witnessed Jesus raising people from the dead.
But there were stumbling blocks — for one, they couldn’t fathom that Jesus came to die. Leaders are supposed to exhibit authority and power. Leaders should take charge, not surrender to death at the hands of their enemies. Alone with His disciples, Jesus repeatedly told them that He would be killed and raised to life, but they didn’t get it. They couldn’t wrap their minds around the thought of Jesus leaving them. But it was all too real when Jesus was arrested, cruelly beaten, put on a sham trial, and then crucified. Jesus’ lifeless body was placed in a tomb that was sealed with a giant stone.
Then it happened. The Resurrection! That central event to all of history was no hoax, no deception. Jesus was alive! Jesus’ words were true: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). His victory over death was the ultimate proof He was God’s Son sent from heaven to rescue lost sinners (Luke 19:10).
Following His Resurrection, Jesus showed Himself for 40 days to His disciples and to over 500 of His other followers (1 Corinthians 15:6, NIV). Their eyes had seen Him, their hands had touched Him, and their ears had heard many reassuring words of truth and comfort from the Master prior to Him ascending from earth in a cloud (Acts 1:9). And if that was not enough to convince them of Jesus’ real identity, two angels dressed in white appeared to the disciples promising that Jesus would return to earth at some future date.
One more detail from Acts 1 is a vital key to the believer’s life of faith today — shortly before Jesus ascended, He told His disciples to wait for the gift of the Holy Spirit, the promised Helper who would empower them to be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
Jesus kept His promise. On the Day of Pentecost (50 days after the Resurrection), the Holy Spirit came in power. The Christian Church was launched as thousands were saved. In the coming months and years, the Spirit transformed the disciples into bold, courageous spiritual leaders and witnesses for Jesus. As the disciples stepped out in obedience, the Holy Spirit transformed their hearts and minds, guided their steps, and empowered their efforts to touch lives for Jesus.
The Resurrection fully confirmed for Jesus’ followers that He is God. According to Church history and tradition, most became martyrs for the cause of Christ — only John died a natural death. Jesus’ followers loved Him more than their very lives.
It’s 2022. Many Easter Sundays have come and gone since Jesus rose from the dead, but God’s resurrection power in your life is no less real and available than it was for the disciples. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). God is no respecter of persons — He doesn’t favor one person over another (Romans 2:11).
Jesus wants to transform you into a mighty warrior for His Kingdom. Regardless of your past failures, your present challenges, or your fears about the future, He invites you to experience a life of fulfillment, peace, joy, and the assurance of eternity in heaven.
Until Jesus returns, the Resurrection stands as the central event in all human history. If you open your heart and mind to its truth, you can view life through the lens of God’s truth, grace, power, and love. Your Resurrection perspective will wonderfully shape everything about your life.
“And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you” (Romans 8:11).
He Is Risen!