5 Thoughts After Easter Sunday

In keeping with Rabbi David Wolpe’s Insights on the Passover https://www.mpcappleton.org/blog-mike/3-insights-as-passover-begins/

that I shared on Friday, here are some thoughts for after Easter.

1. Jesus was executed because he was a criminal. The resurrection exposes the injustice of such laws.

Jesus’ crime was sedition, which means he was inciting a rebellion against the Roman authorities.

Our’s is a country with 2.3 million prisoners, Easter should give us pause to consider that what is legal is not always moral, just, or right.

2. Crucifixion is capital punishment. The resurrection is about restoration, so let’s be done with the death penalty.

Even on the cross, Jesus is carrying God’s ministry of forgiveness and reconciliation. “Father, forgive them. They know not what they do.” To the criminals on the cross with him, Jesus says, “Truly I tell you, you’ll be with me in paradise.”

Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, asks the question this way, “The death penalty is not about whether people deserve to die for the crimes they commit. The real question of capital punishment in this country is, ‘Do we deserve to kill?’”

3. People of faith are always a mixed bag. Easter is no exception.

When the women leave the tomb, we are told they are filled with “fear and great joy.”

When the disciples gather to receive the great commission, we are told, “many believed but some doubted.”

Just like how the same people who welcomed Jesus to Jerusalem with shouts of “Hosanna!” Were the same people shouting, “Crucify him!”

The stories of Easter are a good reminder that even people who met the risen Christ struggled to believe. The church and Christians today are in good company when we name our doubts and when we support each other on the journey of faith.

4. Easter Sunday is only the beginning.

Technically speaking, Easter is a 50 day season in the liturgical calendar that goes all the way until Pentecost.

However, what I really mean is that the empty tomb is only the beginning of living the resurrection. Easter morning, whether the first or just now, comes with a mission and a message—“Go and tell! He is not here he is risen!” This is only the beginnings!

The empty tomb casts Jesus life and ministry in a new light that invites reconsideration. Sending us back to the beginning of the story.

Easter is only the beginning for Jesus’ disciples because Jesus’ earthly ministry comes to an end and our ministry in Jesus name is just beginning.

5. Why do so many people show up Easter Sunday?

It isn’t the flowers. 

It isn’t the chance to where your Easter best. 

It isn’t the music. 

People show up because everything else in our lives and in the world looks a lot like Good Friday and we need to hear, to see, to believe that this isn’t how the story ends. Sin doesn’t win. Death doesn’t last. God is faithful. Christ is risen. 

At least that’s why I keep showing up on Easter Sunday.

How about you?

 

Pastor Mike

“Hold fast to what is good. Have courage.”