Bible Society in Northern Ireland

A Post Easter Reflection

Catherine Little has been reflecting on how our lives should look different because of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Here she thinks about our attitude as we journey on from Easter…

journey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I am on a journey which is full of twists and turns, full of unexpected surprises and the occasional ‘hmmm I wasn’t expecting that to happen’ moment.  

We have made it to Easter, we have journeyed through Lent and Holy Week, we have remembered Jesus’ death and celebrated His resurrection, but what now? Have we experienced the risen Jesus? Do our lives reflect that Jesus is risen from the dead?  

Have we experienced the risen Jesus

Every year I am struck by the stories from Easter Sunday and the days just after in the Gospels – the stories of the women realising Jesus’ body was gone, the stories of how the message that Jesus really was alive was circulated, the vulnerability of Thomas in his doubt, and the story of the two men on the road to Emmaus in Luke 24.  

Are you familiar with the story of the road to Emmaus? Two men are walking and talking about everything that has just happened as they journey away from Jerusalem. Jesus walks along beside them but they are ‘kept from recognising him’ (Luke 24:16). The two men continue to talk and share their feelings and opinions on events. They get to their destination and invite their walking companion to stay with them for the night. When Jesus breaks bread in front of them they recognise him and realise that all that had been prophesied has come true. They leave and return to Jerusalem to share this news with the other disciples.

These men had been on a journey to Emmaus, they were talking to each other about their disappointment. It was the third day, they must have been scared about what this meant for their own safety – would they or one of their friends be crucified or imprisoned next because of their association with Jesus? They are so honest in what they say to Jesus on the road in verses 19-24, “we had hoped that he was the one who was going to redeem Israel” (v21). They didn’t know who this stranger was yet they were prepared to share this with him. They also encouraged him to stay with them for the night and it was during a meal that they realised who they had been journeying with to Emmaus. Then, even though it was evening, they decided to go back to Jerusalem to tell the others.  They couldn’t keep this news to themselves.

We stand as people who know

 

Here in Northern Ireland, across our country, we have celebrated Easter; we have celebrated that Jesus rose from the dead. We stand as people who know that the resurrection happened but who are we running to tell? We are on a journey of faith where we should be growing in relationship with Jesus, where we should be getting to know Him more, understanding more about Him and knowing His heart for our lives. I wonder how much the story of Easter really shakes us – are we too familiar with it?

 

On Palm Sunday we heard the heart-wrenching news from Egypt about bomb attacks outside two churches where 45 people were killed and more than 100 were injured. In the next few days we saw how the Christian Church in Egypt responded – they didn’t hide; they were hurting and vulnerable but they didn’t cast blame; they responded in forgiveness and love. The reaction of the bereaved families was testament to years of persecution in this region but it has shocked and amazed others in the area. One Muslim TV news reader was stunned by the reaction of one of the bereaved, saying, ‘these people are made of steel … they are made of a different substance!’ The journey to Easter Sunday in Egypt was full of tears but also full of joy; they, like us, were celebrating the resurrection of Jesus and all that means for us today.

Those two men who went rushing back from Emmaus to tell the others were soon confronted with the living Jesus again. They realised that He had redeemed Israel just as they had hoped. The reality for the disciples and the other followers of Jesus was that they were still at the beginning of their journey. Jesus had risen from the dead and soon they would be sent out on a mission that we continue to be involved in today.  

I started this article with a reflection on my own journey. I know that Jesus walks with me on this journey, just like he did with the men going to Emmaus. Like the two men in Luke 24, however, I’m not sure I can always see Jesus with me either. At what point do I have the ‘breaking bread’ moment and see Jesus on my journey? Jesus journeys with us all, even when we are following our own path and not the one that He would have us on. He walks beside us, but will we recognise the risen Jesus in our lives and run to tell others?  

 

 

Catherine LittleCatherine Little is the General Secretary of the Bible Society NI. She is passionate about inspiring and equipping people to share the life changing message of the Bible. You can tell others the Good News at home and all over the world. Find out how you could get involved here

 


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Daily Bible Reading Guide 2017