The Day After Easter by Michael Furlonger

There is so much to be said. I’ve read so many comments on social media regarding to the silence after Easter. At the time, after Jesus Christ died on the cross, I can only assume that there was silence in the streets. There were no parades. The people that were with Jesus for 3.5 years likely went home and wept. Perhaps, much like we are in isolation today (April 13/ 2020), they could only wonder what will happen next.

Of course, we have written account of what happened. Jesus rose from the grave. Not only him, but many others were raised to life. Matthew 27:52-53 reads,

The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

That, my friend, leaves me to wonder many things. I can only imagine walking down the street and a friend taps me on the shoulder and I see a long lost friend. “Larry! Didn’t you die eight years ago?” I can only wonder who rose that day.

I, for one, would be quite upset. I’ve lived a long life and I die. I’m about to enter the holy kingdom of God and then I’m pulled away just to deal with the daily nonsense of work, politics, hunger, thirst, and on and on. Anyway… I digress.

The Man On The Cross

Now, I’m not going to tell you about Jesus Christ. We know him, we know what he did for us, so sharing that will likely be white noise. But there was another man on a cross next to Jesus that I would like to share.

Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left.
One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
(Luke 23:32-33, 39-43)

How This Applies To You

You see, a lot of professing Christians like to end at the cross. Jesus Christ died for our sins, we walk the aisle at church, say the “sinner’s prayer” and we leave. We go back to our life of sin.

We go back to our online dating website; back to our pornography. We go back to our drugs and alcohol. Our fowl language. We don’t change our TV viewing habits. We go back to all of the things that Jesus Christ died for.

And we, who so easily make a declaration of faith, say a prayer, are no better than the criminal who hurled insults at him. I always wonder, if the man on the cross who asked Christ to remember him, if taken off that cross and got to live, would he commit the same crime that put him there in the first place.

We Don’t Want God

I called a Christian couple at a retirement home on Easter Friday to share the gospel message. I read to them John 3:16-21. I know that a lot of people know John 3:16, but a lot of people don’t like John 3:19-20 whereas we are told to turn to the light (Jesus). People, however, don’t like the light (Jesus) because they know that their sins will be exposed.

So I was sharing with them and the husband asked if there is scripture telling of these times we live in. I told them, they were both on the phone, that scripture does tell us of hard times and that Christ will return to bring things back to order. Then he started commenting on why didn’t the fortune tellers predict such times.

While both the man and woman can hear me, I told him that seeking fortune tellers is a sin. The woman quickly shares, “Oh, well that’s just what we did at the time.”

Keep in mind that they are old (retirement home), so I didn’t want to add a conflict to the call. I had to share that this is a sin.

Jesus Loves Me

The woman would go on to say how much she trusted in Jesus growing up. But, can you imagine saying, “I love you,” to your wife but spending the night with a prostitute? It doesn’t work. You can’t say, “I love you, Jesus,” and doing something that he is strictly against (Lev. 19:31, 20:6, 20:27; Deut. 18:10-12). That’s what witchcraft, fortune tellers, ghosts and spiritists are.

I said very plainly to them, “Jesus Christ died on a cross for your sins. I’m not trying to make you feel bad, but it is a sin. When you pray tonight, acknowledge your sin and ask Jesus to forgive you. Jesus loves you and longs to be with you.”

And that’s the thing that we’re so scared of. We are scared, especially in the church, to address sin. People will say, “Your church is just so judgemental.” I’m not trying to be judgemental, but if you love Jesus as you claim, don’t you want to please him? Don’t you want to turn away from things that cause him pain?

The Day After Easter

Today, I want to encourage you to turn away from your sins. I’m not judging you, I know how certain things appear pleasant, but for the love of Christ, turn away. And for the love of your eternal soul, ask God to guide you. I’ve been sharing videos testifying of how I needed to pray for God to change the desires of my heart.

(I didn’t want to give up my sins. But I would go to the side of my bed and pray, “Lord, I don’t want to give up my sin. Either you will take this from me or I will die on my knees.” I would go on to pray for other things, other people, until God came. I would fall asleep on my knees. As the sun would rise, I got up, went to work, but came back home and prayed.)

This past weekend, we celebrate the grace of God on us. But, one day, Jesus will return to cleanse the earth:

I saw heaven standing open and there before me was a white horse, whose rider is called Faithful and True. With justice he judges and wages war. His eyes are like blazing fire, and on his head are many crowns. He has a name written on him that no one knows but he himself. He is dressed in a robe dipped in blood, and his name is the Word of God. (Revelation 19:11-13)

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