Lessons for the second Sunday of Easter

Acts of the apostles 2:14a, 22-32

Luke, in the very early days of what became the church, presents a condensed sermon attributed to the Apostle Peter where he proclaims a confession, a confession of those leaders of Israel who put Jesus to the cross of shame. It was you, he says, who crucified this Jesus. But you should know that your plan to rid the earth off this troublesome prophet has failed. God has raised him up, freed him from death. Luke then invokes Psalm 16 quoting King David to show that God surely has the power to raise from the dead and we his apostles do indeed testify to you today that Jesus of Nazareth is risen to the Father.

 

I Peter 1: 3-9

The author of Peter begins his letter with a blessing in the Jewish tradition. The blessing is then adapted for use in this letter in providing a eulogy or thanksgiving for the gift of Jesus Christ, indeed, for the salvation he brings at the time he is “revealed”, that is at the end of our earthly pilgrimage. For, though we cannot see him now and we will have trials to endure, we will surely be one with him in glory.

 

John 20:19-31

John tells the story of the days immediately following the resurrection when Jesus is present to the disciples who have locked themselves away from the Sanhedrin and the high priest. For despite the guard and the stone, the tomb is empty, the body is gone. Rumors were rampant, but Jesus is there to commission his band of followers to be apostles, to testify and act as Jesus would have them do. John notes that Thomas was absent the first day and exhibits a lack of belief in a resurrected Lord; some days later, John writes, Thomas is convinced and Jesus reminds him that the world is full of those who would come to believe without the physical evidence.