Rebellion for a Mighty Cause
When they had brought them, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, "We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man's blood on us." But Peter and the apostles answered, "We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.
The Easter egg hunts are all complete. The Easter Sunrise service was early and a great morning spiritual reminder of the empty tomb experience. The Easter Sunday service(s) with full choirs, liturgical dance, children’s messages with empty eggs are a fond memory of the reason Jesus Christ was born.
None of this should be taken as an indication that Easter is over. In fact, for those who follow the Christian season, Easter is just beginning. The power of the empty cross now becomes even more powerful than the news of the empty tomb. The power of Christ whom Mary Magdalene encountered in the tomb is the best indication that the moments after Easter morning grow in meaning, responsibility, and expectation for Christians worldwide.
Maybe it’s the rebel in me, but I just love these words from the disciples to the Roman authorities, to the Temple leaders, and historically to us. Maybe you read it and think the disciples were rude, insubordinate, or simply “trouble makers.” Typically, being a trouble maker is not what we desire to be. It is basic human nature to get along, have stability, establish and maintain status quo, and for some, to have the absence of conflict at all costs. Thank God the disciples did not opt for status quo, superficial peace at all costs, or going along to get along.
Let me ask, if you’ve ever been in a situation in which you needed and had the courage to say “We must obey God rather than human authority?” My answer to that question is a resounding YES! I have been in situations in which the authority, or law, was acting in a way that was contrary to God’s biblical word. I’ve been in situations in which the person in charge desired an outcome that would have caused Jesus himself to turn over tables. In each of those situations, I didn’t feel a need to be self-righteous, but felt a conviction to say, “I don’t believe this is God’s will.” None of those moments were comfortable, easy, nor safe, but I feel that I grew from each one of them.
So, what? So what are Christians today called to do as a result of the 2019 Easter celebration? Let me suggest that the Christian who today wants to be faithful to celebrating Jesus’ resurrection might engage in some of these activities:
Seek out, listen to, and examine God’s leading in response to prophetic voices in today’s culture;
Question every news source to sort out God’s agenda from human agenda;
Be the Christian witness scripture demands you to be, don’t keep the message of Jesus’ resurrection to yourself;
Follow Christ’s example of overcoming the power of sin, be it an unhealthy addiction, a poisonous influence, self-harming behavior and choices, your behavior that treats others in ways Jesus would never approve of, or whether it’s calling upon strong Christian friends to support you in making long overdue changes in your life;
Pray, Pray, Pray that you actually have the courage to speak up when you see manifestations of evil
Spend more time learning and practicing the Spiritual Disciplines so you can be a stronger witness for Jesus Christ.
Last, but not least friends, let this 2019 Easter be a season of all things Resurrection.