“Blessed and holy are those who have part in the first resurrection. The second death has no power over them, but they will be priests of God and of Christ and will reign with him for a thousand years.” Revelation 20:6
The Forty days that the Risen Lord walked on this earth is of very high significance and truly carries a much deeper meaning, more than what meets the eyes. As we are fully aware, prior to the death and passion of our Lord, Jesus was human just like us though divine in nature. But after his resurrection, he walked this earth in a new spiritual and glorified body, a body which could appear and disappear as he did when amongst the disciples at Emmaus and also a body that could pass through closed doors. It was also capable of taking different forms since his new appearance was not recognized by his disciples. The only evidence carried forth into his new being was the mark of the wounds in his hands and feet which he showed to Thomas as a proof of his piercing on the Cross.
This form of being is a pre-figuration of what we all are going to inherit on the day of our own resurrection when we too will be given a new form and spiritual being. We read in 1 Corinthians 15:51-57; “ Behold, We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sin; and the strength of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, which gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”
These ongoing days which make up the Easter season holds its own alluring power not only because it is a time of rejoicing at the conquest of death forever and the triumph of our Lord but also because the events following the resurrection with the presence of the footsteps of the Risen Lord on this earth are very important and symbolic for us all. These events which took place more than two thousand years ago have a direct bearing on our present day and age. Right from the scene at the rolled back stone from the tomb, the appearance of the Risen Lord to Mary Magdalene and his disciples, his breathing of his spirit on them, the handing over of his flock into the hands of Peter until his ascent to the Father, Jesus left a very important message for today’s generation as well.
The outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost is still flowing down on us today in various forms and we too are entrusted with the task of preaching Christ to the world by being His feet and spreading the Gospel in the same manner as the apostles did with the full force of the spirit knowing that God has entrusted the same power to be used for the benefit of others as the disciples went about both preaching and healing in the name of Jesus Christ. As we know, the sick people were laid on the streets in the hope that the shadow of Peter would fall on them and they could be healed by the power of the Holy Spirit given to him by God.
It is also essential on our part to enjoy and dwell on every joyful moment of this Easter season because the Lord’s happiness can only be complete when we participate in the exhilaration of His resurrection. Just as the Risen Lord walked among his people then, he still does the same to this very day. We are unable to see him but we can feel him with all the love in our heart. The symbolic words of an inspiring song comes to mind which leaves us in no doubt that the Savior from Galilee is very much in the driveway of our life today. If we ponder on these words ; “ Footsteps walking with me, footsteps I cannot see, But every move I make, And every step I take, I know they’re there with me. They walk with me all the way, Beside me day by day, Through good and bad, Through happy and sad, Those footsteps won't go away.”
All that is needed is the fine tuning of our hearts to listen to his quiet footsteps next to us in the long walk of our journey on this earth. To draw a renewed Easter strength that we now walk on a sure footing and can never be left alone since the Risen Lord is right there in front of us leading the way.
There is a beautiful narration on how a man once noticed a set of footprints on the sand next to his own which he identified in his heart as the Lord walking with him. These footprints were consistent as he waded through the happy times in his life but the second set of footprints somehow disappeared when the storms hit the shore of his life. When he cried out to God as to why he had abandoned him, God lovingly pointed out that the reason for only one set of footprints during the sad times was because it was then that the Lord had carried him. What an inspiring message for us all!
We may have all felt this at some point in time and perhaps on many more occasions that there is definitely a supernatural power which guides and propels us into choosing out a path and venturing into certain decisions that we would normally not have considered. This is the silent power of the Holy Spirit which leads us to people and events in our life, which pulls our hearts in the direction of the other, which marks out the path for our footsteps to tread on and when this divine power is at work we can be sure that it will allow our hearts to taste the goodness and beauty of love in full measure.
A very heart touching farewell scene just before the Lord ascended into the heavenly clouds was when the disciples urged him to stay with them as the dark night was approaching. The Lord in turn comforted them with an everlasting pledge to be with them forever. Today our hearts might also be daunted by the darkness of the night of trial in our lives but the Lord is repeating the same words as he did so long ago that he is right here next to us helping us overcome the dark night and with the footprints of the Risen Lord walking with us we too can roll back the stone of any affliction and emerge triumphant with the Easter sign affixed firmly on our hearts for all time.
The Lord is our bridegroom and he will carry us the people who form the Church which is the bride of Christ, over the threshold of heaven to stay with him forever for endless ages to come. This is the Easter Promise which was sealed on the face of this earth centuries ago and still holds fast to this present Easter season and for many more Easter events yet to be celebrated in this world.
We all have the Easter responsibility of bearing witness to our Lord each day that we live and celebrating the memorial of his passion until the sound of the last trumpet which will herald a new undying era into the glorious world prepared for us by the Risen Lord himself where we shall clearly see his footprints matching our own as He leads us step by step onto the heavenly staircase to breathe in the Easter air wafting through the waves of heaven.
Till then, we hold fast to his promise to stay with us until the end of Time!