The Easter narratives from all four gospel accounts make us fully aware of what happened early in the morning on the first day of the week. Women went to Jesus’ tomb and found he was no longer dead, but raised. The amazement continued throughout that first day of the week with Jesus appearing to his disciples and two people on the road to Emmaus. Easter changes lives, but for our world today, what are we to make of Easter on the second day of the week?
Yesterday, churches were filled with worshipers, many of whom hadn’t attended services since Christmas. It is now the second day of the week, the day after the resurrection celebration. Certainly the chorus of “Jesus Christ is Risen Today” still rings in the ears of the faithful. The images of the resurrection are still vivid in the minds of believers, but how long is it before doubt once again creeps back into the forefront?
On the second day of the week, the world has returned to work; the daily struggle of earthly life continues. For so many, grief remains all too real, worry has returned, relationships are still broken and death looms on the horizon. Easter joy seems to come and go for those who are not accustomed to encountering the risen Lord Jesus on the first day of the week. Living in the midst of our brokenness, we forget that because of Easter, these things no longer have power over God’s people. In the face of such sin and death, we have the promise of life in God’s kingdom.
When we hear the gospel preached, share in the Lord’s Supper and live in the midst of God’s people, the Easter promise remains central in our hearts and minds. The events of the first day of the week set the tone for life in the face of death, forgiveness in the face of sin and certainty in the face of doubt. Jesus said, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled” (Luke 24:44). On the first day of the week, every week, we become witnesses to these things.