By Not Known
There is an old saying that talks about having 20/20 vision with hindsight. That is when we look back at something after the event we can see and understand with greater clarity.
This appears to be the case with Jesus. The four Gospels tell of Jesus’ followers stumbling and fumbling in the understanding and responses to Jesus. Yet, after the Easter events there is clarity in their perceptions and resolution in their actions.
We have a little sample of this in John 2:19-22. Jesus spoke about his raising of the ‘temple’ in three days and the disciples misread it as a reference to the temple building in Jerusalem. John them adds a note how the meaning became clear after the resurrection of Jesus and they understood that he was speaking of himself as the new temple or point of meeting with God.
Some of the first Christian preaching and writing show how the Easter events turned everything upside down for the early Christians. For example, see the ‘sermon notes’ in Acts 2:15-36; 3:12-26/ Both of these sermons have their climax in the dying and raising of Jesus. Or consider Romans 1: 1-6; 1 Corinthians 15:3-7. Easter changed the way they looked at the world, at themselves and at Jesus.
However, Easter hindsight is not just a changed mind. It is meant to result in a changed life. ‘Death to sin and resurrection to life now’ is a good summary of Paul’s message in Roman6:1- 14 and Colossians 3: 1- 17. This is important. If our faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection is not changing the way we presently live, it is not a true Easter faith.
There’s another area in which Easter should change our thinking and behaviour – death. Denial, anxiety, fear and superstition abound in human responses to death. A Christian response is very different, because of Easter. Thus, Christian people may, or should, grieve at death, but it is a ‘bounded’ grief in which we encourage each other with the hope of meeting with the Lord (1 Thess 4: 13- 18). Or again, our sense of the finality of death’s string and power is to be reshaped with the knowledge that death is swallowed up in resurrection victory – and thus we stand firm (1 Cor 15: 51- 58). It is a truly inspiring thing to be with someone who is dying and to see their unwavering confidence in God.
Easter hindsight changed the way the first believes looked at reality and behaved in it. How about each of us? We celebrate Easter Sunday with a joyous service today – but its there also an Easter celebration with our lives? That life begins by putting our faith in him who died for our sins and who was raised for our justification (Rom 4: 25).