By Pastor Eric Everhart
As many of you know, keeping our children occupied and busy during this time of “staying home” can be a challenge. Even with school continuing at home, there is a lot of time left for our children during the day. Puzzles—big puzzles—have been a great way to keep the kids busy in our home. Day after day, they sit in front of a large table, grunting and moaning as they try to fit each small piece in its place. Slowly the borders take shape, pieces start to fall into place, and the picture on the box becomes a reality. The process is intense, and as the excitement builds and the last piece finds its spot, a sigh of relief and joy lets out.
Maybe you have done a puzzle and know this feeling. Perhaps you have had a chance to clean up the garage and stand in joy as you admire the work you’ve done. Some of you have finally finished that book you have been trying to read, or wrapped up spring cleaning, or completed your never-ending “to-do” list. All that work is done, and now you can sit back and enjoy it.
As one of my girls finished a giant puzzle, the joy and happiness quickly turned into a question that I wasn’t expecting. With a serious look on her face, she asked, “What now?” We have finished the puzzle, and that was great, but what now?
As the Church, we celebrated the season of Lent, we observed Ash Wednesday, rejoiced on Palm Sunday, and we remembered on Good Friday. Each of these moments builds to Easter, the celebration of our risen King, Jesus Christ. This day, the pinnacle day of our Christian lives has arrived, and we worship and celebrate what God has done for us. Resurrection Sunday is a day filled with celebration, remembering, rejoicing, glorifying, and Hallelujahs!
But what now? Holy Week has passed, we have had our church services, and we have celebrated together, but what now?
Following his resurrection in chapter 28 of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus gives all Christians clear and personal instructions about “now what.” Jesus says, go, and tell the whole world what I have taught you and what you have witnessed. This news is the greatest news of all time. This news gives life and assurance. Jesus wants us—you and me—to tell the world about the risen Christ and the gift that bears his scars. We are to do this by what we say and how we live our lives.
In verse 17, we can see Jesus proclaim his complete authority and sovereignty in this world. We should remember that it is on this authority, the authority of Jesus Christ, that we “go” and fulfill the call to be witnesses for him. Jesus concludes this commission by assuring us that we are not alone and that he will always be with us. Although Jesus has ascended into heaven to be at the Father’s side, he is with us through the presence of the Holy Spirit.
What now? There is much to do, brothers and sisters! There are opportunities—maybe at the office, at school, at the grocery store, perhaps at the movie theater, on Facebook, in Spain, in Africa, or perhaps in your own family. Jesus has called each of us to step up and proclaim the good news of salvation. He has invited us in to demonstrate hope to the weary, to speak life into the dead, and to shine a light into a world of darkness!
Jesus has fulfilled the promise of the resurrection. Are you ready for what’s next? What steps can you take with the knowledge that Christ will be by your side, “to make disciples of all the nations”?
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