WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO DURING EASTER?
I grew up in Norway and Easter started Saturday before Palm Sunday. From that day to Tuesday after Easter, Norway was more or less closed. Only a few people worked Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday before Maundy Thursday, but many were on vacation. All the schools were closed and all the shops were closed on Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, Good Friday, first and second day of Easter.Some foreigners came to visit Norway and they thought that Norway had an official time of mourning. Many families went to the mountains to enjoy the last bit of snow and to enjoy the sun coming out for spring. Many went skiing. People have travelled to other countries the last years. That could not be done neither last year nor this year. Last year people couldn’t even go to their huts.
I want to share something I did many years ago when I was young. I and a friend of mine belonged to an international church in Oslo. The church had hired a place at Bygdøy where we should eat breakfast and later we should have a service outside by the sea. I lived at St. Hanshaugen in Oslo and my friend stayed with me. We left the house at 4:30 in the morning and started walking through the streets of Oslo. We felt like the first women walking to see the grave where Jesus was buried. They believed that He was dead and got shocked when an angel appeared saying that Jesus was risen from the dead. My friend and I we walked to meet the living Jesus. We sang and sang and prayed for people living inside the houses we passed. We finally left town and came out in the countryside. We continued to sing and remembered the first Easter morning. We experienced that taxi drivers and other cars stopped us and offered us a ride, but we had decided to go all the way as a symbol to follow Jesus all the way even if we would get tired or if we should meet difficulties. We would not stop before we were at the final destination. I am reminded of this walk sometimes. Life isn’t always easy, but I will not give up. My friend died too early, but she kept her faith till the very end.
Do not give up, but go all the way with the Lord.
Before the pandemic the churches and congregations could keep open and Easter is a time when Christians go to church. We want to remember His suffering and His resurrection. This year we cannot gather in great numbers, but are we supposed to get depressed because of that? Jesus is the same. He is in your home, in your family, alone with you in the forest. Yes, He is everywhere. He is not limited by time nor space. Some are even seeking Him at the toilet. They can stay there without being disturbed. A mother with many children was hiding under her big skirt to be alone with Jesus. Her children knew that their mother was with Jesus now and they didn’t disturb her. The Bible says that we always should pray. How can we do that when we are at work? I do not believe that we should lay down on a prayer-math during our work-time, but we have a language that we can use quietly.
Norway was always showing criminal films on television during Easter time. I really do not understand what crime has to do with Easter.
Easter is a Christian festival with Jesus as the main figure. The gospels describe the first communion that Jesus shared with His disciples. He took bread, was giving thanks, broke it and said: “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Then He took the cup saying: “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.” Maundy Thursday is the day that we usually celebrate the Lord’s Supper. You can do this in the church, in your congregation, home or with friends. I have also taken communion alone with Jesus. This is something holy and something we do with dignity. We are reminded of the fantastic things happening at the cross and what happened when He broke the power of death by being resurrected.
On Good Friday we are following Jesus through His suffering. I do not believe that we really can understand how He suffered. Something supernatural happened when He carried our punishment and suffered for our sake. He was innocent, but He did it for us. He became the Lamb that was slain for our transgressions. Isaiah 53:4+5 is a central scripture for Good Friday.
Jesus had prophesied that He would rise on the third day and that was exactly what happened. When the women came to the tomb, they found the tomb empty. An angel appeared and told them that Jesus was risen from the dead. He appeared to His disciples and many more and stayed on earth for 40 more days. After that He ascended to heaven to be with His father. The disciples and almost 100 more were united in praying till The Holy Spirit came and filled them.
Easter in Scandinavia is coming at a time when spring is arriving. The snow is melting and flowers start coming. The winter has to go and everything that has looked dead is coming back to life. The nature seems to do in the natural what Jesus was doing in the supernatural by conquering the power of the devil and of death. Colossians 2:15.
THE GLORY BELONGS TO YOU, THE VICTORIOUS ONE, JESUS CHRIST!