An end and a new beginning
By Myrtle Virginia Thompson
Easter and the festivities are over. The baskets are emptied, and so are the stores. What was left has been reduced in price and pushed aside. The shelves will soon be stocked with something new.
Our human emotions are often subject to a letdown after a time of excitement, especially if we are disappointed. That was the experience of the Jewish believers around Jerusalem after the Passover and Jesus’ burial. Luke’s story of the disciples on the road to Emmaus confirms their feelings (Luke 24.) They had “thought it was He (Jesus) who would deliver Israel…” The “shelves” of their lives had been emptied. They did not know they were going to be “re-stocked.”
The imagery was brought close when I saw the transformation in my tiny backyard after Easter. In just a matter of days, buds on the flowers opened up, welcoming the warmth of the morning sun. Peonies, amaryllis, bought for Christmas and forgotten, were found with leaves emerging, planted late, but buds stored in the bulbs had risen out of the earth, now clusters of bright red blossoms. The old roses now showing new life, lavender, pink, multi-colored, greeting me with the love and warmth for which they are noted.
Who designed all this? Paul says Jesus was the Creator (Colossians 1). Wasn’t He the One Who was crucified? Yes, the very same One. The book of Hebrews explains more about this mystery of the Godhead. Paul says He came “in the fullness of time” (Galatians 4:4), the reason for our Christmas celebrations. We are sinners needing righteousness to escape condemnation. The balance scale could not provide enough good works. We needed a Savior, nothing else could help us.
The evidence had been mounting, like the flowers, “growing in the darkness of earth,” as it were, but seen by the prophets, Daniel, others pointing to a Messiah and a renewal of Israel, the Old Testament pointing the way from Genesis to Malachi. All will be fulfilled in the economy of God’s timeline.
Seeds must spend time before the blossoms and fruit can spring forth. So Jesus faced death and burial, and was placed in the earth He created, but Resurrection brought hope. This is the true story of Easter.
The eggs, the bunnies, those things that make children laugh are just another part of the world in which we live. Resurrection Day has dawned. Jesus is alive, fulfilling all the prophets had promised, but there is still more.
Now, after the Resurrection, they have a question. Was this the time when He was going to “restore the kingdom to His people”? Jesus has been with them for 40 days, so their question is a logical one. He answers, “It is not for you to know the times and the seasons which the Father has put in His own power …”
Jesus will return to the Father and the glory He had with Him before the world was (John 17). His emissaries, the disciples, were told to “wait for the promise of the Father” (Acts 1:4). They and the rest of the 120 in the Upper Room were to remain in Jerusalem until after Pentecost, fulfilling more of the imagery in the Jewish feasts (Leviticus 23), the “holy convocation” in which the promised Holy Spirit would fill them with power. When that took place, people from all over their known world heard the message in their own language.
While the Easter festivities are over, God’s timeline is still being measured out in the Scriptures. All has not been fulfilled. The promises are future. We who have heard the Good News are a part of those expected to tell others.
Never has there been a greater need to share this wonderful message of salvation.
Myrtle V. Thompson, 91, is a retired missionary, educator and Bible teacher. Contact her at email@example.com.