April 14, 2024: Easter People

Stones with resurrection images

Third Sunday of Easter

Easter People

Although the church celebrates forty days between Easter and Ascension Sunday, the Gospel of Luke has it all done in one day.  Our Gospel passage today opens with the disciples talking about what has happened so far in this amazing day: the visit the women and Peter made to the empty tomb, Jesus’ visitation with Peter (Luke 24:34), his appearance to the two disciples on the way to Emmaus. In the midst of that fear-filled, grief-wrestling, awe-inspiring, joyous discussion, Jesus appears and says, “Peace be with you.”

The disciples are far from peace and filled with so much fear at his arrival that Jesus suspects they doubt his existence. He shows them that he is the one who suffered and died for them, by showing the wounds on his hands and feet. He shows them that he lives, by eating the food offered him. And if this physical certification of his resurrection is not enough, Jesus “opens their minds to understand the scriptures” (v. 45) and reminds them that what he told them was supposed to take place.

Our passage today is Jesus’ confirmation to his disciples of the truth of his resurrection. All doubts should be washed away. All that has taken place has led to this moment, so that the disciples can truly believe and begin their ministry of proclaiming “repentance and forgiveness of sins in his name to all nations” (v. 47). Even in their doubt, Jesus believed in them enough to entrust them with the faith.

It is their “witness,” their belief, their faith in what has taken place in Christ Jesus that they have passed on down through the generations to us, and that we are called to share. Through their ministry, we have become an Easter People, People of the Resurrection, ones who are called to share this amazing story in both voice and action through the love of Christ.

Gregg Schafer, pastor
Morongo Moravian Church, Banning, California