Back at Christmas in my Advent blog, I said, “We can’t leave the Advent season without a reminder that the story doesn’t end at Christmas. We know that in Jesus’ life on earth that Christmas leads to Easter, to His death on the cross. ” This is the next part of that story.
The victory of Easter was secure. Jesus had triumphed over sin and death. The grave had failed to retain its prey.
But Peter fretted, still haunted by his betrayal and failure. Unaccustomed to waiting, as he had been instructed, he announced, “I’m going fishing.” And several other disciples followed suit. They fished all night and caught nothing. Then Jesus showed up. And, as he had three years earlier, He directed Peter and his crew to a massive catch of fish – 153 to be exact (John 21:11).
But Jesus had not endured the pain of the cross to allow guilt, past failures, and impatience to diminish His victory’s impact in Peter’s life. In the pointed, painful, and powerful conversation that followed, Jesus restored His relationship with Peter, and challenged him to significant leadership responsibility within the infant church. Jesus concluded their talk and called Peter to the heart of the matter: “Then he (Jesus) said to him (Peter), “Follow me!’” (John 21:19).
On Christmas, Christ lovingly set his foot on earth. On Good Friday, Satan struck His heel. But Satan’s temporary victory didn’t last long. The events of Easter turned the tables, proclaiming God’s ultimate victory.
This Easter season, remember, all our guilt, pain, and losses are merely Satan’s Pyrrhic victories. Christ alone wins the war. This Easter, say with Paul, “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” 1 Corinthians 15:57.
Don’t allow a painful past or an impatient present, to diminish the power of Easter. Don’t return to the familiar and comfortable distractions that will rob you of the opportunity to follow Jesus and apply the victory of Easter in the days ahead.
Some parts borrowed from Dan Bolin, President, Refueling in Flight Ministries.