The alleluias have been sung to the point of raising the church roof. The sound of the timpani drum resonates in our hearts. Trumpets, harps, French horns and flutes add to the beauty of our worship. The voices, the prayers, the rejoicing, the celebration has replaced a long season of repentance and sadness over our sinful condition. Christ is arisen and, because of that, we no longer need fear the power of death. We too shall rise.
So the week continues. Does that same feeling of excitement remain? Within a few days, life returns to normal. We’re faced with tough decisions, mounting debt, worry over health issues. We face road blocks and detours along the way and the message of salvation slowly sinks into the past. How can we keep that same energy alive throughout our days?
Jesus could have ascended into heaven right after His resurrection, but he remained on earth for 40 more days. He did this for a reason. He wanted to prove to His followers that He was really alive. He also still had things to teach them.
- The prophesies that were fulfilled through His suffering and death.
- The promise that we will never die.
- To turn their sadness into joy and enthusiasm for spreading the truth.
- To teach and prepare them for His great commission.
The number forty in the Bible often refers to a time of testing or being put on probation for a while.. The Israelites spent forty years in the desert. Jesus was tempted by the devil in the wilderness for forty days. The rains that fell during the Great Flood of Noah lasted forty days and forty nights. Jesus was lashed 40 times during His trial.
So Jesus used these forty days after His resurrection to put His followers to another test. He taught, rebuked, demonstrated, encouraged and loved them through this difficult time. We have that same assurance with the Easter message. Because of the great power of that event, we should be stirred to action. We should have no fear of telling others the good news. We should be bold and courageous in our zeal. This is news that must be shared today. It is the hope of all the nations.
Life goes on, but it can be filled with great joy, even during times of discouragement, if we place our hope in the love of our Holy God – who loved us so much, He gave the ultimate sacrifice so that we would inherit His kingdom. This is what He had planned from the beginning.