Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself. 2 Timothy 2:11-13 (NIV).
Happy Day After Easter, when Jesus is still risen, still alive again, still King of Kings. To be honest, the day after Easter has always had the potential to be like the day after Christmas: a let-down. We had a great day yesterday, with church, a great meal, and lots of time together as a family. It tired me out greatly, but I was sad to see it end. Today, it’s back to work; today the kids and grand-kids go home; today is just Monday. Today feels like a let-down.
Except it isn’t. Here is a trustworthy saying: if Monday seems dull, it’s because the light shines bright. If disappointment rules the hour, joy rules the day. If it’s tough to get started back at the routine, the routine is a gift from God, an embodiment of Jesus in our daily lives. All these contrasting things are gifts from a loving Jesus Christ, whose gift of resurrection provides the hope of today and tomorrow to the believers He elected in eternity. A fallen world can’t contain Him; a bad today can’t stop a beautiful tomorrow. He defeated death, He defeated Satan. Nothing can stop Him. The contrasts make the difference between Jesus and everything else stark.
It wasn’t just Paul who spoke of these contrasts. Peter did as well, and Peter knew Christ, man to man, better than most anyone else in Jesus’ ministry. Peter talked about us rejoicing in the sufferings of Christ because it would mean that His resurrection and eternal glory would be all that much better. The apostle lived in a barbaric time not unlike our own: we simply have better tools and technology. But the words he left would have been just as striking to readers of that time, maybe even more so when you consider how those readers personally knew Peter, how some might have personally known Jesus. We didn’t know Peter or Jesus man to man; we simply have their words.
Think about that and then consider that this is a trustworthy set of statements, a thing on which we can rely. Jesus lived, died, and lives again because He said He would. Jesus suffered so we could rest. Jesus died so we can live. Jesus lives because the world can’t contain Him. That’s great news on the Monday after Easter when the bloom seems to be off the rose and the daily world tries to take hold again.
For further reading: Romans 6:2-11, 1 Peter 4:13, Matthew 10:33, 1 Corinthians 1:9, 2 Timothy 2:14.
Easter Savior, You are the reason for our living. You are the Lord. You died and live so we may live.