Well, Easter is over, hopefully all the eggs have been found, the candy collected, the food eaten, and the calendar has turned another page. But for the Christian, what’s next? I mean, this whole Jesus celebration is not confined to just Christmas and Easter, it is a 24/7 thing for the Christian. So following the resurrection, we are left asking the question, “Now what?”
In a nutshell, the message of Easter is all about John 3:16. In John 3:16 we read, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son.” But what about His love for individuals? The rest of the verse reveals the central purpose behind God’s sacrifice of His Son, “That WHOEVER believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Therefore, without exception, every person may interpret John 3:16 like this, “For God so loved me!”
And once we have accepted that love, and we are united with Christ through the waters of baptism, that like Christ in His resurrection, we are brought up out of the water as new creations, what is our responsibility then? After Easter, what is the Christian to do? Well, let’s go back to the first few words of John 3:16, “For God so loved the WORLD…” You do realize that after Jesus rose from the dead, the most important thing that He wanted to share with His disciples before He left them was the Great Commission.
Matthew 28:18-20 says, “Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in Heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.””
Do you have family members that are outside of a relationship with Christ? Do you have neighbors who don’t attend church anywhere? Do you have coworkers who don’t know the love of God in their lives? Do you have classmates that have never given their lives to God? We all do. No matter what our age, our occupation, our social status, or our family life may be, we all have people in those categories that need to experience the love that God has for them. So if you are asking, “Now what,” the answer is, “GO!”
It was Easter Sunday in 1993 when Bernhard Langer won the Masters golf tournament. Talk about a huge accomplishment, anyone would be thrilled to reach this pinnacle and then brag about the accomplishment and enjoy their time in the spotlight.
However, as he stepped off the 18th green to receive the green jacket, one of golf’s most coveted prizes, a reporter commented, “This must be the greatest day of your life!” Here was his chance, this was his time, the spotlight was on him, and it was time to brag a bit, right? Wrong. Without missing a beat, Langer replied, “It’s wonderful to win the greatest tournament in the world, but it means more to win on Easter Sunday, to celebrate the resurrection of my Lord and Savior.”
Langer had just won on the biggest stage in golf, and now he had the opportunity to boast about himself, but instead he turned the spotlight on God. Perhaps that is what it means in Matthew 5:16 when it says, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.”
In other words, when the spotlight is placed on us, we should shift the attention to God, so that others may see Him. And that is almost the exact opposite of what the world teaches, isn’t it? Our world tells us to point out our strengths, to boast in our successes, to brag about our accomplishments, to enjoy our time in the spotlight. And because of that, it’s easy for us to draw attention to ourselves, to make sure that everyone sees us when the spotlight shines on us.
But that isn’t what we need to be doing, we need to be turning the attention to God instead. Look at the apostle Paul, he had plenty that he could have bragged about. In Philippians chapter 3 he gives a list of all sorts of things that he could have taken pride in, but instead he considered it all garbage compared to knowing Christ. We would be wise in following in his example.
So, if you really want something to brag about, brag about God, and what He’s done for you. And not just this Easter, but every day, look for opportunities to turn the spotlight on Him!