He Is Risen!
It was late that [Easter] Sunday evening, and the [believers] were gathered together behind locked doors, because they were afraid of the [COVID-19]. Then Jesus came and stood among them. “Peace be with you,” he said.
‘Tis true. The preceding paragraph was adapted from John’s Gospel, chapter 20, verse 19. But it wouldn’t take too much of our imagination to put ourselves in that setting with the first century disciples. I’m sure you agree with me that it was very difficult not to be present for Easter worship over the weekend. Some have commented that this was the first time that Easter worship has been suspended (even prohibited) in a general sense since before the emperor Constantine legalized Christianity in 312 A.D.!
As we continue to adjust to our new normal, how can we make sure we don’t lose sight of the power and message of the resurrection? How can we become like the disciples who within 50 days were publicly proclaiming the good news of this world-changing event?
The Resurrection Chapter
In the apostle Paul’s first letter to the church in Corinth, he spends one entire chapter (15) on the resurrection. The chapter opens with these words:
And now I want to remind you, my friends, of the Good News which I preached to you, which you received, and on which your faith stands firm. That is the gospel, the message that I preached to you. You are saved by the gospel if you hold firmly to it—unless it was for nothing that you believed.
I passed on to you what I received, which is of the greatest importance: that Christ died for our sins, as written in the Scriptures; that he was buried and that he was raised to life three days later, as written in the Scriptures; that he appeared to Peter and then to all twelve apostles. (1 Corinthians 15:1-5).
50 Days of Easter
From what I hear from coworkers and my daughters who have children at home, it is challenging to find activities that keep the family together and children entertained without depending too heavily on technology. From our vast Bible Resource Center at American Bible Society I would like to propose a devotional activity that will enrich parents and children alike taken from Paul’s chapter on the resurrection.
- white construction paper
- cross pattern (approximately 1-1/2” x 3”)
- pens or pencils
- hole puncher
To mark the 50 days of Easter, cut out a cross a day and link them with string.
Read a verse a day from 1 Corinthians 15, where the apostle Paul describes Christ’s victory over the power of death and the new life we all share in Christ. Since there are 58 verses, combine the following:
- Day 1: verses 1 and 2;
- Day 3: verses 4 and 5;
- Day 4: verses 6 and 7;
- Day 10: verses 13 and 14;
- Day 21: verses 25 and 26;
- Day 25: verses 30 and 31;
- Day 48: verses 54 and 55;
- Day 49: verses 56 and 57.
Select a key word from each day’s reading and write that word on the cross for the day. Incorporate that word into a closing prayer. Display the growing chain throughout the Easter season where you gather for family devotions. At the end of the 50 days of the Easter season, you will have a chain of crosses as a reminder of Christ’s victory over sin and death and God’s gift of eternal life.
You can also mark your progress going to YouVersion and following the reading plan 50 Days of Easter.
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