All of Christendom geared up for Easter—resurrection Sunday. With the possible exception of Christmas, it is the most celebrated date on the church calendar and still one of only two Sundays annually when many people darken the door of a church building. Weeks, maybe even months, went into the planning and execution of worship services for that occasion. Special services, special speakers, special music, and other program elements bloomed for the event. But what now? Is rejoicing in the resurrection of Jesus Christ following His vicarious death for sins to be not just the climax but the end of our worship as believers? We might expect nominal Christians to attend some formal celebration, perhaps receive some momentary emotional stimulation and then return to their former torpor, but what about genuine believers? If the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ has truly regenerated and transformed us by the work of the Holy Spirit through faith, can we return to work Monday morning with the same blasé attitude that we left it the previous Friday?
Just ask the Apostle Peter the answer to that question. Following His resurrection, the Lord had appeared on at least two occasions to the assembled disciples (John 20:19-29), so that they had received personal verification of the reality of His having risen from the dead. An astounding miracle, an exclamatory testament both to Christ’s deity and to the veracity of His message. So what was Peter’s wonderful response to this greatest of all events in history? Did he kneel in consecrated service before the Lord? Did he pray for wisdom and leading regarding how to serve the risen Savior? Did he relish the opportunity to tell the world the wonderful news that the God and Savior Jesus Christ had died so that their sins might be forgiven and they might live? No. Standing on
the shore at the Sea of Tiberias (the Sea of Galilee), along with six other disciples of Jesus, “Simon Peter said to them, ‘I am going fishing’” (John 21:3).
“I AM GOING FISHING”? The One who had lived with them for more than three years, the One who had taught and trained them, who had performed miracles in their presence, and who had commissioned them to be witnesses for Him had died an unimaginable death and had even more unimaginably risen from the dead, and Peter’s response is that “I am going fishing”? Who on earth could respond like that?
Well, fellow believer, Easter Sunday is now in the rearview mirror. Have you gone fishing?
Did you return to work on Monday in the same spiritual state you left the previous Friday? Did you stay-at-home mothers, retirees, or other believers not “gainfully employed” return to your routines without so much as a ruffle on the surface of your former life? I can confess, “Guilty as charged” following far too many past resurrection services. But as this is being written several weeks prior to the current resurrection Sunday, I pray that it will not be so this year.
As Paul reminds us, “Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us” (Rom. 8:34). The resurrection of Jesus Christ is not a stale historical event. It is the beginning work of salvation by Christ and for us. He now lives to intercede for us. His Spirit indwells us to energize and direct us. If we truly have been born again, Easter and our personal salvation will have been transformative. We have “passed out of death into life” (John 5:24); God has “rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son” (Col. 1:13); we are new creations, and “old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new” (2 Cor. 5:17, KJV).
Yes, we still have to earn a living, pay our bills, mow the lawn, wash the dishes, and change dirty diapers. But if our ambitions and attitudes differ nothing from those of the world, have we personally and truly entered into the saving power of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ? “Do you love Me more than these?” (John 21:15) the Lord asked Peter after his fruitless fishing trip. If so, “Tend My sheep” (v. 17). Has the reminder of Christ’s death and resurrection provoked us to love and serve Him more fervently?
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