Summary: This message demonstrates the importance of understanding why Jesus died and rose from the dead and why our joy should not be limited to just one "Easter Sunday" celebration.
The title of my message this morning is “Post-Resurrection.” If you are familiar with the word “post” you know that it has several meanings. It could refer to a piece of wood or metal fixed in the ground in an upright position or it could refer to the backing of an earring to keep it in your ear. It can also mean to publish something electronically online – you “post” it. These definitions are not what I am talking about as it relates to the resurrection, although this message will be “posted” online for others to read. No the definition I want you to think about when I say post is how the word is used as a “prefix.” A prefix is a word attached to the beginning of another word to modify its meaning. Therefore, post-resurrection is the period following the resurrection. During this specific period of time something happened that continues to affect our lives today.
Last week I shared with you that had Christ not risen from the dead everything that we do or have done in His name would have been in vain. I told you that had He not risen, when we die we would be dead “for real” and destined for an eternity in hell. This is not the case for us because He rose from the dead. When He rose from the dead Christ appeared to some folks to encourage them that His resurrection was real. This is what I want us to think about today – how do we really know He rose from the dead some 2000 years ago and what does that mean for us today – besides our not dying and going to hell because we accepted Him as our personal Savior? I want us to place ourselves in the minds of Jesus followers who did not realize that He was going to rise from the dead. Think about how depressed and confused they felt between the time He died and the time He rose from the dead. Now focus on the feelings they experienced when they knew and believed that He had actually risen from the dead. Can you see it? Can you feel the joy they felt? Now hold that thought.
Have you ever participated in a sporting event where you competed against others and made it to the championship game and won? Maybe you did not participate personally, but your school team or your favorite college or professional team did. Do you remember the day of the event and the celebration that took place after the win? Do you remember opening up the newspaper the next day to read about the event? Do you remember coming into contact with friends and acquaintances and everyone was talking about what had happened the day before “in the big game?” Think about what happened after the Royals won the World Series and the celebration that took place afterwards? What about when the Chiefs won the Super Bowl and that celebration? Those celebrations engulfed the cities on both sides of the state line. People will remember where they were when those championship games were played and won. Those who attended the celebrations downtown will remember them for the rest of their lives. Following those games you could not open or turn on the news or read the news online without someone commenting on the outcome of those games. If you ever played for a championship team or had a family member play during a championship game, you know what I am talking about. All of these victories are celebrated for days following the event and people who follow the events talk about it for days, weeks and even years later, especially if they were the victors. Some people go to their graves decades later relishing in the memories of that one important victory. They did not just celebrate it and remember it on the day it happened, they talked about it whenever the opportunity presented itself. They were proud of the event.
Now let’s go back to last week. What did you do on Monday morning? Did you get up and start your day as any other day? Were you dreading what was planned for the day as you thought about your calendar and what you had scheduled for Monday? What did you do? Let me ask you another question. On Monday, did you tell anyone about your resurrection Sunday celebration? What about on Tuesday? Should I even ask about Wednesday? Last Sunday every one of us celebrated the most important day in our lives. Last Sunday we celebrated Christ’s resurrection, which opened the door for us to have eternal life. Last Sunday we sung praises to God with raised hands as we celebrated Christ’s resurrection. Last Sunday our celebration started in the morning and for most of us, it ended on Sunday afternoon. However, unlike when we win the big game, we do not talk about this victory with our friends and neighbors post Easter Sunday. This victory does not get reported on the news on Monday and if you searched every newspaper in the country you would have a hard time finding an article on any celebration happening after Easter Sunday. Now there are plenty of stores having “after Easter” sales, but that is not the celebration I am talking about.