Around this time of year, I’m invariably reminded of the line Tony Campolo popularized: It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming. Because Good Friday is the day we remember the Crucifixion; and Easter Sunday, the Resurrection.
But this year, it occurs to me that we’ve focused on only part of the story. Easter Sunday isn’t the end of the story, but the beginning.
What did Jesus say after his resurrection? “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached… I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.”
And so they waited. And they counted the days. And they prayed. For 50 days after Passover, they counted the days, until Shavuot arrived, the Festival of Weeks.
In the Jewish tradition, Shavuot is when God gave the Torah to Israel, and Israel became a nation, rather than just a bunch of refugee slaves from Egypt. And so Jews actually count the days between Pesach and Shavuot, and they pray each day, and wait for the fulfillment of the promise. Some Jews see this as a time of change, of personal development.
In the same way, Easter is not the climax of the story, but Pentecost. We are embarking on a period of self-discovery and personal change, during which God may have an opportunity to transform our lives. May we be sensitive to his direction.