Acts 4: While Peter and John were speaking to the people, the priests, the captain of the temple, and the Sadducees came to them, much annoyed because they were teaching the people and proclaiming that in Jesus there is the resurrection of the dead.
On the night of Maundy Thursday the religious leaders of the temple had Jesus arrested, on Good Friday they had him put to death. They thought they had eliminated a problem that had been plaguing them for the past three years. Kill the leader and the movement will falter and cease to exist. But we know that didn’t work because in the Acts passage shared at the beginning of this article, Peter and John have taken the commission of Christ to heart and now work to establish the church. They are proclaiming the truth of being Easter people.
Here is a modern day example of why the religious leaders of Jesus’ time could not stop the truth of God from becoming a reality of the world. After the 9-11 attack on the World Trade Towers it soon became apparent who was the mastermind of these terrorist acts. It then became the quest of the US government to find Osama Bin Ladin and either bring him to justice or simply have him killed. The idea of cutting off the head and the body will die mentality which was the same philosophy that lead to Jesus’ crucifixion.
Well we all know the story, Osama Bin Laden was found and then killed, but the result was not that his movement ceased, instead it was scattered throughout the world.
Today some 2000 years later the Christian faith is alive and continues to proclaim the truth of God. We as people of faith in Jesus are not simply sons and daughters of Abraham, or children of the wilderness; we are Easter people. We are those who live in the gracious gift of the resurrection, a resurrection that we share in and where we find our hope and assurance in the life to come.
Pope John Paul II said this about how we are blessed and called to be Easter people,
“So how can we learn to live as wide-awake people, as Easter people . . . In particular if Lent is a time to give things up, Easter ought to be a time to take things up . . . If Calvary means putting to death things in your life that need killing off if you are to flourish as a Christian and as a truly human being, then Easter should mean planting, watering, and training up things in your life (personal and corporate) that ought to be blossoming, filling the garden with color and perfume and in due course bearing fruit . . .”
Lent is over, yet Easter has just begun, My charge to you is to live as Easter people, living in the joys and blessing of the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior. Proclaim the truth and let the message of grace, forgiveness and redemption be scattered across the paths we tread.
“Do not abandon your-selves to despair. We are the Easter people and Hallelujah is our song”
~ Pope John Paul II
He is Risen!
He is Risen Indeed!