On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!” 20 After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. John 20:19-20
Today is Easter Monday. In the Eastern Orthodox Church and Byzantine Rite Catholic Churches, this day is called “Bright Monday” or “Renewal Monday.” In those traditions, a service like Easter Sunday is performed and includes an outdoor procession. In some countries, Easter Monday is a public holiday and a day of rest.
To me, Easter Monday is “Victory Monday.” For, on this day, Jesus was taking a victory lap after conquering death and rising up with all power on resurrection Sunday. According to the gospel writers, after He rose from the grave, Jesus appeared to His disciples to reassure them and prove to them that He was alive. He allowed Thomas to touch His body to remove any doubt about His resurrection.
In today’s text, John tells us the disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. After a traumatic week during which their Rabbi was arrested and crucified, all the fears and trepidation of the disciples were alleviated when Jesus stood among them and gave them His peace. Jesus knew the disciples were traumatized and felt defeated. He stood among them to demonstrate that He had conquered death and risen in victory just as He said He would.
Throughout our Christian journey, we will experience episodes of trials and hardships. At times it may seem as if the storm clouds of life are engulfing our souls with no end in sight. But the resurrection of Jesus reassures us there is always hope no matter how dire things may seem.
Easter Monday is victory Monday because it is a day to renew our hope and faith in Christ Jesus and demonstrate confidence in God’s plans for our lives. It is a reminder that God can raise us up from deadly situations and circumstances. He can resurrect failed marriages or businesses. On this day, believers are reassured that God will show up at any place and at any time to bless them. Indeed, the Lord can show up in the hospital during surgery or chemotherapy. He can show in a prison or in a courtroom. Wherever we need the Lord to meet us at our point of need, He will show up.
The disciples needed Jesus to show up after the resurrection, desperately. They locked the doors of the room where they gathered because they were afraid of being the target of the religious leaders. Jesus showed up and took away their fears. He turned their sorrow into joy.
Jesus wants to do the same for you on this victory Monday. He wants to turn your fear into self-confidence, your burdens into blessings, your trials into triumphs, or your despair into delight. This is a day to celebrate our victory over sin, and our triumph over our spiritual enemy despite our experiences on earth. On this victory Monday we have the blessed assurance that our risen Savior will never forsake us. Therefore, we can withstand the vicissitudes of life and continue to proclaim the mighty name of our resurrected Savior as we invite the world to partake in the gift of Salvation He alone can give.
Questions for Person Reflection
What does Easter Monday mean to you?
Why do you think Jesus stood among the disciples after His resurrection?
Prayer- Blessed Lord, I thank you for giving the blessed assurance of eternal life as my resurrected Savior. When fear is invading my spirit, please remind me of the victory that I have in you. Please help me to live with the confidence that I can conquer all things because of the victory that I have in Christ Jesus.