The first Sunday after Easter – April 11, 2021
Scripture reading – Acts 1:1-3
“In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach 2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen. 3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.”
Getting our bearings
The Easter or Paschal Tridiuum
- Good Friday: Jesus ritually/legally qualifies us to share sacred space with God
- Key scriptures: 2 Cor 5:21; Col 2:14; Rom 8:1; 1 Ptr 3:18; Heb 10:10,14
- His body is put in a borrowed tomb.
- His spirit descends to the “place of the dead” (Heb. sheol, Gk. hades).
Second article, Apostles Creed:
“I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord
who was… crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to the dead.” (infernos, not infernum)
- Holy Saturday: Jesus prepares to relocate “Paradise” from underworld to heaven
- Jesus greets the saints in “Abraham’s bosom” (Lk 16:22)
- Jesus preaches to the spirits in Tartarus (1 Ptr 3:18-20; 2 Ptr 2:4-5; Jude 6-7; cf. Gen 6:1-4).
- Easter Sunday or Pascha: Jesus becomes the first Human 2.0, the “New Humanity”
- Gentiles didn’t believe in resurrection of the body but of apotheosis of the soul
- Jews believed in a general resurrection at end of the age for judgment
- Jesus became the “firstfruits” of a new, glorified humanity, into which we are being formed (1 Cor 15:20-23, 44-49)
Eastertide or Season of Easter (50 days)
- Appearances: Jesus appears to his many friends and teaches them during a forty-day period beginning at Easter. Eats, walks, talks, discusses, answers questions. Ten main appearances in NT: look below.
- Ascent to heaven: Jesus returns to the Father in heaven, apparently with the OT saints with him (Eph 4:7-10; Heb 12:1, 23; cf. Phil 1:23).
- Giving of his Spirit: Jesus sends the Spirit to indwell believers on Day 50, Pentecost
Jesus’ appearances during Eastertide
- Mary Magdalene – Sunday morning (John 20:1-18)
- Mary and the other women – Sunday morning (Mt 28:1-10; Lk 24:1-12)
- Peter – Sunday morning or afternoon (Lk 24:34; 1 Cor 15:5)
- Disciples going to Emmaus – Sunday afternoon (Lk 24:13-35)
- Ten Apostles and others – Sunday evening (Lk 24:36-44; John 20:19-23)
- Eleven Apostles and others – one week later on Sunday evening (John 20:24-29)
- Apostles on the Sea of Galilee – catch of fish and reinstatement of Peter (John 21:1-23)
- Disciples on mountain in Galilee (over 500: 1 Cor 15:6): Great Commission (Mt 28:16-20)
- James, Jesus’ brother, and “all the apostles” (1 Cor 15:5-7)
- Ascension from Mt. of Olives (Lk 24:50-53; Acts 1:6-12)
In each of your Quiet Times this week with the Lord, slowly read a different resurrection story. Put yourself in it. “Feel” what it must have been like to meet the resurrected Jesus. Be with Jesus in your imagination, and talk with him about your experience. Then, “be” with Jesus throughout each day.