This is Day One: the first day after the resurrection. I wonder how the disciples slept last night. Did they all hang out with Jesus? When did He leave them? Where did He go? What did they talk about? Was anyone mad at Peter? How did they feel? Were they excited, or scared, or confused - or all those at the same time? Were they aware that the curtain in the Temple had been ripped in half? Did they run into any previous friends or relatives who had also been resurrected (Matt. 27:53)?
Our imagination can only go so far. Unfortunately for our curiosity, details are not recorded for us. I’m certain, though, they were not the same people who enjoyed a great meal together on Friday night and then fell asleep in a garden afterwards. They did not yet fully understand everything, but this they did know: life would now be very different. They had no idea how different.
If Friday was the pinnacle of despair and Sunday morning the ecstasy of surprise, what was Monday morning? Undoubtedly they rode a roller-coaster of emotion just as we do when we go from a low-low to a high-high. It would take time to process all that happened and understand the full implications. From the events recorded in Acts 15 and Galatians 2, we know it took a while for them to wrap their heads around the significance of Jesus’ life, death, burial, resurrection and ascension.
If they were confused by all that - and they lived with Jesus - it is no wonder we are muddled up from time to time.
So this is Monday. For the disciples, it was a fresh start. And it is for us, too. I know we all love to hack on Mondays (just think of all the “Monday” songs lyrics like ‘rainy days and Mondays always get me down’”). Ironically, we all love fresh, new beginnings. Somehow Monday has become the despised object of our weekly scorn.
This really isn’t about Monday. It is about sharpening our perspective. Whatever day of the week, we can embrace every moment as a Resurrection Moment (“RM”). Here are a few ways we can live with an “RM” perspective:
The Resurrection teaches us that God’s eternal plan IS being accomplished;
The Resurrection teaches us that forgiveness and reconciliation is always at hand;
The Resurrection teaches us that God Himself understands our suffering and struggles;
The Resurrection teaches us that each day can be a fresh start with God; there are no “second-bests;”
The Resurrection teaches us that we have a LIVING hope in spite of our circumstances;
The Resurrection teaches us that hope deferred is not hope denied;
The Resurrection teaches us that we are the objects of God’s infinite and incomprehensible love.
The Resurrection reminds us that God is always at work, even though sometimes His work is hidden. Part of this work by the Spirit of God is the transformational process that changes us and enables us to represent Him well. Because of the Resurrection, we can fulfill those original purposes for which we were created. Because of the Resurrection, we can embrace the inherent value God places on every human being - including ourselves.
This is not a spontaneous metamorphosis. The disciples struggled for several years to understand the significance of Jesus’ work, of the New Covenant, of being a Body instead of a nation. We follow in their steps. We also struggle to understand how the Resurrection changes things, how it changes us. If we follow after Jesus, that change will be inevitable. That’s because Jesus was raised from the dead, having satisfied God’s holy demands, and now through the Holy Spirit is renewing us. All this is possible because of the Resurrection.
Today is Monday. It is not the “Day One” Monday after Resurrection Sunday, but it can be “Day One” of the rest of this week, this month, of our entire lives. Inevitably, we will struggle and fall. The Resurrection teaches us that we can have another fresh “Day One” immediately after that. We can start over.
I’ve already enjoyed my coffee. It starts my Monday morning (or any morning) with a little bit of joy-in-a-cup. But even in writing this, I have also paused to consider how I can frame my Monday as a RM for the week and this very moment as a RM for the next hour.
How do you see the Resurrection impacting your Monday, your week, or just the very moment you are living right now? However that may look, let us all remember this:
He is risen. He is risen indeed. How does that change things?