We collectively lost our minds yesterday in jubilant celebration over the empty tomb. Remember that? You were probably either willingly or involuntarily immersed in a wave of Jesus-ness that spanned the globe. You maybe were hit with someone saying “He is risen!” and they silently expected you to respond with the traditionally appropriate: “He is risen, indeed!” This has been the greeting for millennia when Christians come in contact with other Christians. Its a reminder that Jesus was put in a borrowed tomb for a reason.
On Friday morning I found myself at a local church (not the one I’m on staff at) with a horde of other men of all ages, singing in worship in the frigid morning hours and culminating in a “raising of the cross” where a bunch of men worked/struggled together to lift a pretty accurately-sized cross in order to drop it into a hole that had been prepared. Oh, that was after we all took turns pounding spikes into it. Good times indeed on a Good Friday morning. Then breakfast and coffee. Yum.
Then on Friday evening, I gathered with another large crowd of Jesus people to observe/celebrate His crucifixion; the act that paid the full debt of humanity’s sin. We celebrated communion together and remembered the broken body and shed blood of the Savior. A somber tone to a solemn occasion.
Oh, let’s not forget the Maundy Thursday experience I led a group of high schoolers through on Thursday night. Trying hard to recreate the upper room experience, complete with “reclining” positions around a low table and a dipping bowl to dip bread into, we together looked at the Judases hiding in the dark corners of our hearts, and how even today we sell Jesus out for far less than 30 pieces of silver. Its a bitter pill, but one that must be swallowed.
Okay, so yesterday it was the “Sunday” in the “It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming!” sentiment. (Any Carman fans in the house?) Resurrection Day! The day in which lovers of Jesus the world over collectively cheer and its this sweet vindicating party wherein we all point to death and hell and shout: “Loser!” We gather around the empty tomb and both marvel and “I told you so!” all the day long. Yep, its a great day for sure; the highlight of the calendar for anyone who loves and follows Jesus.
But then…Monday. Here we are. What is different except that our voices are a little hoarse from all that singing and shouting and yelling at each other about how “He is risen!”? What does Sunday do to Monday? I suppose for as long as I’ve been a spiritual investor in people, that question has always been the focus. That “So what?” has been where my mind and heart actually gravitate to: What does Sunday do to Monday? Certainly all the time and energy put into that Sunday morning celebration MUST have more of a last impact than an hour long church service. Certainly it must revolutionize our Monday, right?
So, let’s talk about Easter Monday as much as we talk about Easter Sunday, shall we? The hype, the celebration, the shouts of praise, and the focus on the empty tomb as the culmination of the mission of Jesus on earth should certainly ripple through the other 364 days of the year. Wouldn’t you agree?
Here’s one of the things that Paul wrote that I just love. You gotta love Paul. Right to the point:
“And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.”
1 Corinthians 15:14
Read the whole chapter sometime and tell me that Paul pulls any punches in anything he says. The truth here is so very clear and so very critical: If Jesus wasn’t raised from the dead–if He isn’t actually alive right now, then we who claim Him are the most pitiful, pathetic, and problem-ridden people on the planet. What the cross did to the power of sin, the empty tomb did to the power of death. Do you see how the tomb completes the salvation equation? A little while later in that same chapter, look at Paul’s words in verses 55-57…
“Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God!
He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
So as you walk through your Monday, then your Tuesday, then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, then Saturday… walk as if you are walking straight out of the empty tomb following your look inside to see that Jesus of Nazareth, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the Messiah to all has indeed risen just as He said He would!
Walk in confidence, in humility, in authority, in purpose, in hope, in love, in redemption, in restoration, in peace, and in hilarity as you move in and out of conversations and situations He has placed you in for the sole purpose of reflecting the reality of the resurrection.
Okay, okay. I can’t help it. Here’s to all you Carman fans…