Easter – Resurrection Sunday – was one month ago. By now, the Easter baskets have been put away for another year, the decorated eggs and chocolate bunnies have been eaten, and the Easter cards and gifts have joined other keepsakes on a shelf or in a drawer or closet.
It is easy to move on in our busy world. Sometimes this is good. Sometimes it is not.
When it comes to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ – the most important event in human history –moving on should be in God’s time, not our own.
In my previous words of encouragement since Easter, I have focused on the Resurrection and described why it was so important two thousand years ago and why it is still so important today.
Without a doubt, the Resurrection was the culmination of God’s plan for our salvation (Genesis 3:1–15; John 3:16–17, 14:6). It proved that Jesus was, and is, the Messiah and the Son of God (Mark 14:60–62). It opened wide the gates of Heaven (Revelation 21:1–7).
But what about our lives today? What about this moment in time?
Actually, the Resurrection teaches us four valuable lessons to help us find real joy and true peace in the present.
As recorded in the Holy Gospel according to John, Jesus initially appeared to His disciples three times after He was raised from the dead. During these appearances, Jesus did not talk about salvation or eternal life. Instead, He addressed the disciples’ worries and concerns. He showed them that the Kingdom of God includes the here and now and that what was important to them was important to God.
When Jesus first appeared to His disciples (John 20:19–25), He knew they were afraid. Afraid of the Jewish leaders. Afraid of the Romans. Afraid of their own shadows. For this reason, Jesus came to them (Thomas was not there at the time), and He gave them words of peace.
When you are paralyzed by fear, you need the same peace from the same Savior.
Lesson #1: When you need supernatural peace, Jesus will provide it.
When Jesus appeared the second time to His disciples (John 20:26–31), Thomas was also present. Thomas needed reassurance that Jesus was alive, and only Jesus could provide it – so He did.
When you need reassurance that you are on the right track or that your life has meaning, Jesus will do the same for you.
Lesson #2: When you need divine reassurance, Jesus will give it.
When Jesus appeared to His disciples the third time (John 21:1–14), He gave them certainty that He had risen from the dead. He was not a ghost. He was not a figment of their imaginations. He was not just wishful thinking.
When you need to be certain that God is on His throne and that He cares about you, Jesus will be there for you.
Lesson #3: When you need certainty of God’s love, Jesus will bring it.
Another important reason for Jesus’ third appearance to His disciples was so He could reconcile with Peter, who had denied Jesus three times during His ordeal (John 18:1–27, 21:15–19).
When you think you are not worthy of God’s forgiveness, Jesus will show you that reconciliation with God is always possible.
Lesson #4: When you feel alone or overwhelmed, Jesus will shower you with His mercy and love.
The Resurrection of Jesus can be your anchor during the storms of life. God will never fail you or forsake you – and the Risen Christ will always be your way to true joy (John 15:11) and real peace (Philippians 4:7).
-- Dr. John Morris