After Easter

Ishnita Nayantara Keskar   |   April 4, 2024 

The run-up to the Resurrection Day (Easter) is quite dramatic. Several denominations sincerely observe the period of Lent. The crescendo rises with the celebration of the Palm Sunday of the last supper on Holy Thursday, the quintessential solemn three hour long Good Friday service, and the celebration of a joyous Sunrise Service (or other services) followed by delicious meals and family get-togethers. But what do we do after Easter?

While some denominations observe the Sunday of Ascension and Pentecost, for most of us life quickly dissipates into the summer, work, and life after Resurrection Sunday (Easter). Unfortunately, many of us, only feel joyful again around Christmas. How do we carry the resurrected Christ through the year? I was inspired by a few sermons to ponder these ideas.

Lingering Near the Cross 

There is a group of people who lingered near the cross on the day Jesus was crucified. John records these people as Mary (the mother of Jesus), Mary, the wife of Cleopas, Mary Magdalene, and John himself (John 19: 25-26). Good Friday isn’t the only day we need to linger near the cross of the crucified Christ. As Khalil Gibran describes it in eloquent words in The Crucified,

Today, and on this same day of each year, man is startled from his deep slumber and stands before the phantoms of the Ages, looking with tearful eyes toward Mount Calvary to witness Jesus the Nazarene nailed on the Cross... But when the day is over and eventide comes, human kinds return and kneel praying before the idols, erected upon every hilltop, every prairie, and every barter of wheat.

For many of us, Christ on the cross is an annual reflection as we return to the endless business of our lives.

It is significant to recognise that lingering near the cross regularly draws us nearer to the cause of the crucifixion, the recognition of our sins, and the joy in the salvation we have received. Lingering near the cross also gives us intense hope for all kinds of suffering. This suffering could be an impossible boss, a strained marriage, or the loss of a loved one. The suffering of Christ presents hope for a deteriorating world, engulfed with selfishness and lack of compassion. Standing underneath the cross and watching Jesus suffer allows us to grieve with hope and be embraced by the love and kindness of Jesus.

Rejoicing at the Empty Tomb

There are 14 stations of the cross (as recognised by some churches)  but by the divine plan of God the 15th station is near the empty tomb. What a joy it is to stand at a grave and know that the person you grieved for is dead no more. He is Risen!! While I have never seen that miracle in my life, I know of one and have read of people who have been resurrected from the dead by miraculous healing. When we stand near the empty tomb, we find hope for all that we think have died. People grieve dead dreams, lose hope over family issues, and give up on the “lost” son/ daughter or a broken home.

While it may not come to life, and God may not resurrect all dead things, it is emphatically true that we have a living God who understands loss and can also raise the dead. He can bring back to life that which we have deemed hopeless! Standing at the empty tomb gives us hope for all who have been lost and many of whom we think may never be found. Some of us may find ourselves lingering—overwhelmed with our sins, at the cross our whole lives, without realising that there is redemption and transformation at the empty tomb.

Jesus Showed Up

If you have been startled by someone suddenly showing up when you didn’t expect it, you know it can be a frightening experience. While we rejoice at the resurrection, I can only imagine the heart-pounding, jaw-dropping, fearfully- joyful moment it would have for all those who saw Christ after He was resurrected.

After a couple of thousand years, we can greet each other joyfully, after Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, Salome, Joanna, Peter, and the two disciples on the road to Damascus had been shell-shocked on Resurrection morning. Some of us could do with that shock in our lives. We tend to move around in our worries, grief, monotony, and business, having forgotten that Christ shows up even now! The resurrected Christ shows up not to boo us, but to assure us, give hope, feed us, and share the journey with us.

The weekend of Good Friday culminating on Easter is a great reminder that this isn’t an annual event. It is a reminder to linger longer at the cross, stand at the empty tomb, and joyfully have Jesus show up. The Easter weekend reminds us of the reason for our faith, the purpose, and the hope.

… All because Christ is risen. He is risen indeed!



Photo by Alicia Quan on Unsplash

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Ishnita Nayantara Keskar

Ishnita Nayantara Keskar is a mother of two and currently lives with her husband and children in Bhopal. She is pursuing her PhD in the Psychology of Education from Jawaharlal University, Delhi. She loves writing, travelling, driving and watching movies.

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