“May you be strengthened with all power, according to his glorious might, for all endurance and patience with joy, giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. He has delivered us from the domain of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of his beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins” (Col. 1:11-14).
Most of you know that I am rather fond of Mondays. I love getting to work after a day of rest and worship with the saints. But every once in a while, a Monday comes along that does not want to cooperate with my cheery disposition. Interestingly, the Monday after Easter is usually one of those days. And right on cue, today has brought me to piqued levels of anxiety, overwhelmed with the myriad of stuff that needs to get done.
How quickly we can move from exhilaration to exhaustion. I often wonder what that first Monday after Jesus’ resurrection was like. Did the disciples even want to get out of bed? I suspect that they did not treat the resurrection as an ending. They could not just proceed back to the “normal life.” But alas, that seems to be our pattern in this world.
The reality for all of us today is no different than it was yesterday. We live in the light of the resurrection of Jesus. That is why Paul can pray for the saints to be “strengthened with all power…” It is why he would desire for himself “that I may know [Christ] and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead” (Phil. 3:10-11).
The resurrection of Christ was a beginning. He is “the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor. 15:20). It’s THE beginning, the fresh start all of our hearts long for. It isn’t about fluffy bunnies and pastel colors — it’s about the radical death, relentless love, and revolutionary power of our God. The cross, the empty grave and the resurrected Jesus not only give us a reason to hope for change, they give us the power to change. Rather than us trying to change from our own efforts, the resurrection changes us.
As Paul reminds us, “If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you” (Rom. 8:11). And in 2 Corinthians 5:17, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” We come to the Monday after Easter a changed people because Jesus’ resurrection gave us a new identity.
Yes, it may have taken me most of the day to get to the point where I can lay hold of this. But I am forever grateful that Christ has laid hold of me, bound fast in his forever grip, raised out of the death of my trespasses and sin to new life, adopted as a son, and robed in his righteousness. That reality will make any Monday, any day, all the sweeter. He is risen! He is risen indeed!