After Easter Celebration
After fighting sleep while Jesus prayed in the garden of Gethsemene, Peter had watched Jesus get arrested on a dark fateful night. As a matter of fact he cut a guys ear off with his sword in order to protect him. He hung around in the courtyard, and then denied knowing Jesus THREE times just as Jesus had told him he would. Right after he denied him for the third time, Jesus eyes met his.
Peter went away grieving his actions. It was his last interaction with the Lord whom he had followed and loved for three years. How heart-wrenching to have your final moment, with someone you love so much, be a negative one such as that.
So…can you imagine Peter’s excitement when he was told by Mary that Jesus had risen from the dead? Or can you imagine the energy that propelled him out of hiding and out into the open to get to the place they had buried Jesus, to see with his own eyes that Jesus was alive?
He raced to the tomb with another apostle named John to see Jesus…but He wasn’t there!
His heart had to have pounded with joy knowing the Lord was ALIVE! When he and John were on their way back to tell the other apostles, can you imagine the conversation between the two of them?
John was right there in front of the cross with his mom, Jesus’ mom, and an aunt. He saw how much Jesus suffered. He was standing right there at the cross when Jesus died. Can you imagine how awful it had to be to witness his Lord, whom he loved dearly, hanging there suffocating on a cross, beaten beyond recognition…and then die?
On their way back from the tomb, John’s heart must also have been just as exuberantly happy. I can imagine the two of them going back to share the news with the others, now filled with hope again.
The Bible tells us that Jesus visited them after He rose from the dead.
One night Peter and the apostles had been fishing and came up empty handed. Someone on the shore told them to throw their nets to the other side of the boat. So probably being really tired and since his trade was being a fisherman himself, maybe he felt a bit annoyed about being told what to do, they threw the net over to the other side of the boat and…surprise…it was so full it almost broke the net. Peter knew, that someone, could only be the Lord. Taking off his outer garment, Peter jumped into the water and swam to shore to see him.
Do you wonder what all this excitement is about? This love that Peter, John and the apostles had for Jesus that they would go on to proclaim to everyone around them the wonderful news of Jesus the Savior, the Messiah? They saw Him act in compassion to those around Him. They saw Him willingly give up His life for anyone who would believe in Him so that when they die physically in this world, they would be with Him eternally.
They know what it is like to walk in the presence of God and have a close daily relationship with Him.
Can you imagine what they saw being with Him first-hand during those three years of following Jesus?
Do you have that excitement about Jesus?
Jesus is really alive! He is still there to have a daily relationship with us every day of our lives. That devotion, excitement, and love the apostles had for Jesus, we can have that too.
Just because we can’t physically see Jesus, doesn’t mean He isn’t right there with us. He promised to send the Holy Spirit to guide, comfort, and counsel us.
We may not see Jesus the man, but we can see the fruits of Jesus all around us, feel His presence, listen to His guiding voice, and spend personal time with Him.
When asked, Jesus said the two greatest commandments were to love God with all of your heart, soul and mind and to love your neighbor as yourself. All the other commandments will be fulfilled in following these.
How much of your heart does Jesus have?
How much of your time?
How much of your mind?
During this Easter season, I’ve been reflecting on the gift that was given to us through Jesus. And it just so happens that I watched the movie “Argo.” As I watched this movie, I asked myself many questions about the people that were protesting and who had taken the Americans hostage, such as, do these people have jobs? And why is it so insulting to them, for us to not respect their belief? Yet...they can totally put down Americans, and with no regard at all, take a person’s life just because, they assume the person was an American. They know nothing else about them, the person probably had nothing to do with the Shah being in America, yet they kill them. It was so fanatical to me.
It was best to deny you were an American.
Well, that is what Peter faced in the garden when it was made mentioned that he was one of Jesus followers. He denied it three times.
After watching how the people behaved in that country toward Americans, I started to ponder, what if I was in that circumstance…no matter what, would I have the courage to not deny Jesus? Because the Americans in that country were not going to go around admitting they were Americans and for good reason. So, if I was up against it like Peter would I be brave, or deny him?
There are people who are put in the position to deny Jesus or be tortured or die in different countries. Actually, it happened recently in our own country during a shooting at the Columbine High School. When a young girl was asked if she believed in Jesus and she responded, yes, she was then killed.
Peter may have failed, but he repented, and went on to bring many to a saving faith and was later crucified upside down on a cross for his faith.
Is our faith in Jesus that passionate? Do we love Him with our whole being?
If we are alive when the end of time comes, when He appears are we going to be excited to see Him as Peter was when Jesus stood on the shore?
Do we understand how much He loves us and the magnitude of the results of walking with Him while we are here on this earth?
I don’t know…but I do want that love to grow for Him more and more each moment of my life. There are so many things to do everyday yet… really…what is the most important thing to do?
Walking with Him, growing with Him, and being a part of the magnificent plan He has for the people He loves.
Are you excited about His resurrection and what that means for your life? I hope so.
Yes, we had a day of celebration because Jesus rose from the dead and we celebrated what His resurrection means to those who believe. Now…life continues on and so should the celebration in our hearts, the gratitude, and the hope of what this day really means for us because it’s a real thing. Jesus really is alive and wants to work in our lives.
So let’s continue on with this celebration and I bet we see changes in the world around us.