April 04, 2010

Easter Joy Everywhere

Luke 24:36-49

“The Messiah will … rise … and … forgiveness … will be preached … to all nations.”
Luke 24:46-47


Hallelujah! Christ arose!

Gospel writer Luke, a Gentile, took an active part in the mission that spread the good news about Jesus far and wide. Today’s record of Jesus’ appearance alive after his death shows that Easter joy is meant to spread everywhere. Places yet unreached and people who do not yet believe are not left out.

Jesus’ greeting “Peace be with you” was a universal blessing. And inviting his disciples to touch his real-life body and to eat a meal with him speaks convincingly about Jesus’ physical presence. Jesus was really alive! In addition, people everywhere who look to the Bible for truthful witness will not miss Jesus’ words: “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” And, finally, the promise that “repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in [Christ’s] name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem” addresses us today—two thousand years after the first Easter and hundreds of cultural shifts later.

Many of us join in Resurrection Day celebration and joyful worship with feelings of sadness close to the surface. We cannot dismiss thoughts of loved ones and friends who do not share the joy of Easter. Luke’s message gives real hope that someday they will be happily alive in Christ, just as you and I are.

Father, we thank you that today’s good news about Jesus has changed our lives. Please also bring to yourself friends and loved ones who don’t yet know you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

About the author — John Rozeboom

Rev. John Rozeboom is a retired pastor of the Christian Reformed Church and a former director of Christian Reformed Home Missions. Currently he is coaching and supporting elders, ministers, and a congregation in mission. John and Linda Rozeboom live in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and they have two married children and five grandchildren.

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