The week after Easter doesn’t always get the credit it deserves. After the season of Lent and individual celebrations of Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, and finally Easter Sunday, we are often left unsure of where to go next. After being guided through a season focused on God, we’re suddenly left without rituals to keep us focusing on God.
Yet the story of Christ does not stop after the discovery of Jesus’ empty tomb. Instead, we can learn how we should spend our time on earth, even after Christ’s resurrection, by the example Christ set before He ascended to heaven.
While Easter Sunday marks an empty tomb, it also shows that Jesus continued to walk this earth until he ascended to Heaven. Jesus provided his physical presence as proof of His resurrection. He demonstrated His divine nature by appearing to His disciples inside a locked room (John 20:19) and He proved His identity further through the wounds on His hands and side (20:20). And still the gospels talk of more events that happened after Christ has risen from the dead: appearing to Thomas (20:26), the Sea of Tiberias (21:1), and commissioning His disciples (Matthew 28:19).
Though each gospel shares these events a little differently, they clearly demonstrate that Jesus came and spent time with the disciples — and more than one 24 hour period. Due to the historical holidays surrounding Jesus’ death, resurrection, and ascension, scholars believe that Jesus remained on earth 40 days after he rose from the dead. Though we don’t have a day-by-day account of how Jesus spent His 40 days, we do know he spent them with His disciples. As John explained in 21:25 , “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.”
Jesus longed to spend time with His disciples, to teach them in the time He had on earth, and to strengthen their faith for when He would no longer be with them. Just as Jesus longed to spend time on earth with his disciples, he longs to spend time with us. As we await the celebrated day of ascension, let us spend time with Jesus, reading the Word and listening to His call. Dwell in the lessons His disciples learned and recorded. Take time to “be still and know” that He is indeed our God (Psalm 46:10).
As a result, we will be more prepared to proclaim the good news everywhere and be affirmed as Christ shows His truth around us (Mark 16:20). When we take time to slow down, study God’s Word, pray, and listen for God’s guidance, we become more open and understanding to the ways He is working here and now.
Originally posted on RochesterSA.org.