Easter is a time of convergence: religious, spiritual, historical, Jewish and Christian. I love EASTER for many reasons, especially because it opened the way for the Christian Ministry for the world. By focusing on Easter, and the period of Lent, we could prepare ourselves each year to become beter Christians.
Recall that the apostles were not perfect, though they had spent months and years with our Savior, Jesus Christ. It is the period around Easter that Judas was replaced by Matthias. When Jesus was resurrected, he spent 40 days and nights with the disciples. They were finetuned as the backbone of the Christian Message.
I am reminded too, of an earlier article I wrote, and showed how many disciples failed Jesus at Gethsemane. Remember the seemingly tragic climax of Jesus’ life, when He led His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane and asked they keep “watch with Me” while He prayed. This occurred hours before Judas’ notorious betrayal. In Matthew, 26:39-41, (NIV,1973):
39 And Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, "My Father, if it is possible, let this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will."
40 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Could you men could not keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter.
41 "Watch and pray so that you may not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak."
42” He went away again a second time and prayed…”
The disciples fell asleep again, even a third time. Be mindful that “men” (of the flesh) are weak, and only watchfulness and prayer ward off evil. Judas easily betrayed Christ, Peter denied Him thrice as Christ had that evening predicted, and all the disciplines fled when Jesus chided those who reached for swords to sheath their weapons and face the onslaught nonviolently.
Easter is the time that reminds us that Jesus is the Son of God and was resurrected in full glory; and that the weaknesses of the apostles were corrected during the Pentecost. Jesus came back in the flesh and spirit (both) to guide them so that we and our heirs too would receive the Good News. We have. The apostles did become effective. And the saints too, like Paul, who suffered willingly to glorify the name of God all over Greece and other lands.
I welcome Easter as a time for me to improve as a believer, as a practitioner of Christianity, as a member of my community and nation. Jesus set the tone; the disciples were cleansed and confirmed in their faith. GOOD FRIDAY+RESURRECTION=GOOD NEWS. After Judas' betrayal, this too, is an important aspect of the great Holiday of Easter, to me. Happy, joyous, glorious Easter to you and your families.
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