We just celebrated the greatest day on the Christian calendar (my opinion!), Easter Sunday. God’s plan for the restoration of his people had been accomplished. Now here we are on Easter Monday brimming with thankfulness and joy that Jesus died to cover our sins. His resurrection sealed our eternal life with him. That changes everything. Now it’s “the day after.” Where do we go from here? The world had just experienced a major shift. What is the significance of Easter Monday?
Easter Monday Traditions
Who Celebrates Easter Monday?
Some Christians, primarily Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholics, observe Easter Monday. You may hear it referred to as “Bright Monday” and “Renewal Monday”. Different cultures celebrate it with everything from a day off work to solemn processions and polka festivals.
No matter how you celebrate Easter, there are some who see Easter Monday as just another day of the week. I can’t help but feel different somehow. I like the name “Renewal Monday”- it speaks of a change for the better, new strength and new life.
What Happens on Easter Monday?
Jesus had appeared to many people on Easter Sunday. We read about his appearance to the women (Matthew 28:8-10), the 2 travelers on the road to Emmaus (Luke 24:13-35), and the disciples in the upper room. (Luke 24:36-42).
But his next known appearance isn’t until one week later. We don’t know how Mary or the disciples felt on Easter Monday. We are told that after seeing Jesus; they were overjoyed. Can you put yourself in their place? Monday couldn’t be just another day!
We know they had seen Jesus perform many miracles of healing and raised Lazarus from the dead. He had spoken of his own death and resurrection. They saw him dead and buried. They had seen the resurrected Jesus for themselves. Were they still stunned come Monday? Frightened? Confused? Excited? Hesitant? They had deserted him after his arrest. (Mark 14:48-50) What did He think of them now? So much had changed.
Easter is Over-
Easter is over, but as it was for the disciples, our journey continues anew.
For his followers, it was a road of fits and starts. When Jesus reappeared a week later, they were still in a locked room in Jerusalem, disobeying their instructions to go to Galilee. Thomas was with them, doubting the story of a resurrected Jesus.
Seven of the disciples, uncertain as to their next steps, returned to Galilee and went fishing. They caught nothing until Jesus appeared in the morning and filled their nets with fish. They were still trying to wrap their minds around a resurrected Jesus.
In all the resurrection stories, Jesus shines through by meeting their individual needs.
•Mary Magdalene didn’t recognize Jesus until He spoke her name.
•When the disciples first saw Jesus, they “were startled and frightened.” They thought he was a ghost! (Luke 24:37, NIV) He gave them the certain proof they needed. He showed them his hands and feet and encouraged them to touch him.
They still did not “believe it because of joy and amazement.” (Luke 24:41, NIV) Jesus “opened their minds” (Luke 24:45 NIV)- gave them the spiritual insight- to help them understand.
•Thomas wasn’t ignored or sent away when he stood firm in his unbelief in the resurrection of Jesus. Jesus lovingly came to him and told him to touch his healing wounds and believe.
He continues to meet each one of us where we are; giving us what we need.
Our post-resurrection life is a journey that is similar to that of the early believers. It begins with Jesus calling our name, giving us the gift of the Holy Spirit, and meeting us in our unbelief and disobedience.
We rejoice in the resurrection on Easter, but what do we go from there?
Why Celebrate Easter Monday?
God resurrected Jesus from the dead so we can enjoy eternal life with him in heaven. But it also assures us of a resurrected eternal life that begins now, not just for the future. The same Holy Spirit power that raised Jesus from the dead is living inside us right at this moment. His resurrection power lives in us, ready for us to take action. Easter Monday is a great day to renew that truth in our hearts and minds.
Pin me for later!
Living in the Power of the Resurrection
We live a new life by the power of the Holy Spirit. We live out our resurrected life as a new person- new desires and new thoughts.
“… Anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NLT) (Bold mine)
God gives us what we need to live a resurrected life.
“May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” Hebrews 13: 20-21 (NIV) (bold mine)
Living a Resurrected Life
God made us in His image, and God is love. God’s unfailing love knows no human boundaries and is impossible to fully comprehend. But if we are made in His image, should we not love like him?
Reflecting on Jesus’ life, I see the love He poured out with a servant’s heart. He lived to serve, whether it entailed healing, comforting, teaching, or the washing of his disciples’ feet at the Last Supper. He modeled a life of humble service rooted in love. His final act of love was his death on the cross.
In His love for us, God accepted Jesus’ sacrifice and showed us an empty tomb.
We show His love by caring for the physical, mental, and spiritual needs of his people. “… As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples; if you love one another.” (John 13: 34-35.)
The day after Easter is the perfect time to renew our calling to live a resurrected life! It’s the life God intended for us to live, and he promises to help us on our path. He asks only for us to trust in Him and obey his commands.
One of the most impactful things I heard last week (from the director of The Chosen- and I’m paraphrasing here…) was that Jesus doesn’t expect miracles from us. But he expects us to bring the “loaves and fishes”- using whatever gifts and talents we have- and let him work through us.
What gifts and talents have you been given? How do you use them?
Where and how has God called you to “fish for men”?
In what ways can you feed and care for His sheep?
To whose voice do you listen: the world’s voice or the voice of Jesus?
How has Jesus provided for and protected you? How has he fed you? Given you strength and hope? Embed those memories in your heart for the future.
The gift of the Holy Spirit has opened our minds, hearts, and eyes. Are you relying on the Spirit or your own “might and power” to live for Jesus, move mountains, feed his sheep, experience joy?
“Not by might nor by power, but my Spirit says the Lord of Hosts.” Zechariah 4:6
How might you “fan the flame” of the Holy Spirit in your life?
Prayerfully consider how you can use Easter Monday to jumpstart your own resurrected life in Jesus!
All Scripture is taken from the NIV unless specified otherwise.
Photo Credit: Canva, AnnMarie Anderson