Some acts are hard to follow. If you were a follower of Jesus in the first century, after the death and resurrection of Jesus, now what?
Have you ever been through an exhilarating and emotionally draining experience and then afterward, unsure what to do about it? That’s how it was for the disciples. Everything had changed for them. They had just gone through the greatest amount of upheaval that they could imagine. They were brought to the brink of despair at the cross, then the height of elation upon seeing Jesus alive again.
Now what? They really weren’t sure.
So Peter decided to go back to what he knew…he went fishing. What else was he supposed to do?
Then Jesus showed up again. This time on the shore where Peter and the others brought their boat into dock. When they walked up the bank, there was Jesus, cooking for them breakfast over an open fire. Then he told them what they were supposed to do with everything they saw and heard.
“Feed my sheep,” he said, “feed my lambs.”
Peter had been a fisherman by trade until Jesus called him to become a “fisher of men.” Now he was to be forever changed and Jesus made it clear that his life calling was different. He wasn’t to just go back to the way things were and be the same. He now had something for him to do. A couple of weeks later he issued his renowned Great Commission and told these disciples that they were to be witnesses of all they had seen and heard, and spread the Good News of Jesus’ death and resurrection to everyone everywhere.
That’s what they were supposed to do after Easter.
Last week was quite a celebration here at The Bridge, as we commemorated Jesus’ death and resurrection. We had a huge crowd, more than had ever gathered in a weekend at this church (almost 1,400). We had moving services, with 86 people professing faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. It was an exhilarating weekend.
I think Jesus’ words to Peter and the disciples are appropriate for us as well. We actually gather on the first day of the week every week to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. The work of God here at The Bridge and in other churches around the world continues to roll. Now we are to spread the message of forgiveness that God offers through Jesus, and to feed his followers the Word of God. In that sense, Easter isn’t over for us, it’s an every weekend celebration.
So let’s keep going. Keep investing and inviting. We’ll keep preaching and teaching. And we’ll all continue celebrating the work of God as he keeps transforming lives.