By T.M. Schoewe
My neighbor said “well, another Easter has come and gone!” Oh really! Did you ever realize that Easter gave us in a special way the day we call Sunday, the first day of every week! So in a way to put it simply, “EASTER IS.” Every Sunday reminds us that Easter is. It is with us always! It is since the resurrection that people of God have been worshipping on Sunday instead of the old Sabbath day. That first Sunday was a great morning, a great noon and a great evening!
What a great morning that must have been in heaven when Almighty God said to the angels, “my Son will rise this morning will some of you go down and roll away that large mill stone that is in front of Joseph’s sepulcher, sit on it and announce to the women who will come by that “He is not here! He is risen as He said.” What a great day for the angels who had been looking forward to this for four thousand years!
That must have been a great morning in hell. We so often confess in our creed, “He descended into hell.” You will find that in the fisherman Peter’s first epistle (chapter 3) where it says, when Christ was quickened to life He went and preached to the spirits in prison of the days of Noah. When Jesus died Satan thought, the victory is mine and all hell had a jubilee. So the first thing on Easter morning Christ descended into hell to tell Satan, your kingdom is smashed! It was a victory statement. It is the first step in the exaltation of our risen Lord. When we say “He descended into hell,” we should say it with gusto!
And it was certainly a great morning on earth for those broken hearted women who had gone to anoint Jesus, to be told by the Angel “He is not here!” “He is risen as He said!” And what a wonder for Peter and John who ran to the garden to find the sepulcher empty! Really, it was a great morning for the whole earth to learn the great fact that no sea, fire, no grave, no rocks or mountain, can hold the dead. We shall all rise again!
That first Sunday was a great noon. We do not have many details but the women’s announcement to the disciples that Christ would meet them in Galilee must have brought them together in conference; and the news of Jesus’ resurrection that was spreading in Jerusalem caused religious leaders to go to Pilate asking to bribe the soldiers who guarded the tomb and have them say the disciples stole the body of Christ while they slept. Think about that one! How would they know if they were asleep?
That first Sunday was also a great evening on the highway. Dr. Luke tells us that two friends of the Lord were walking on the road to their home in the little village of Emmaus seven and a half miles northwest of Jerusalem. They were talking about what had happened on Good Friday when suddenly a stranger joined them, inquiring, “why are you so troubled?” The stranger tries to open their eyes by referring them to their scriptures, especially Psalm 22 that says how His hands and feet would be pierced, but they are slow to catch on. Coming to their home they ask the stranger to stay with them because it is getting late. “Have supper with us.” And as they sat down to eat with Him he took the bread and blessed it as is customary. As he lifted up His hands to ask the blessing, lo they saw the holes in His hands, the One about which the 22 Psalm spoke. It was the risen Lord in their home! But as soon as they discovered it was Jesus they looked again and He was not there.
No wonder His name is called “WONDERFUL!”
Those two men did not eat their supper but immediately raced back to Jerusalem, knocking on the locked door of the disciples in that upper room. They are just beginning to tell they have seen Jesus when all in the room are suddenly frightened, for there in their midst stands Jesus, Who greets their fears with a simple but grand word, “peace,” as He shows them His hands and His side where the spear pierced His heart. Here is the peace purchased for you on the cross and by My resurrection I am giving it to you. This peace is not only purchased, but He placed it among them and tells them to proclaim this peace.
To this very day wherever and whenever the people of God gather together you will find this purchased peace, every Sunday and every day you believe “He is risen as He said.” No better greeting for Christians to share than that word “peace.”
So let’s not say, “well Easter has come and gone!” Easter is! Easter is every day you believe “He is risen” and every day you have His purchased peace. Enjoy and give thanks! And pass it on to your neighbor. Peace.