Faith in the Power of the Resurrection…after Easter

  • Pete Johnson
hand coming out of the water

“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1, KJV).

Easter Sunday was a great celebration and reminder of the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The week prior provided us with the expectation of the coming Good Friday celebration. Hundreds of posts and short video clips throughout the week helped us focus on the days of Jesus leading up to his arrest, mock trial, and crucifixion. On Easter Sunday, countless numbers of people across the globe responded in digital unison to the statement “He is Risen”, with “He is Risen indeed!”

If I were a betting man, I would bet that many church’s streaming platforms were filled, (more than usual) with people expressing and celebrating faith in the power of the resurrection through their digital presence in a religious service. For many, our faith and excitement in Christ was bolstered during the past week. But where is our faith and excitement in that resurrection power today, several days after Easter Sunday? Has today left you where you were before Easter? Are we like Peter as he walked out on the water? His faith was strong enough to walk out to Jesus, not just take a few unsure steps toward Jesus on unstable water, in a storm, but to him.

He said, “Come”. So Peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus (Matthew 14:29).

However, then as he took his eyes off of Jesus, distracted by the wind and the effects of it around him, he began to sink. First fear, then doubt caused Peter to lose faith in that moment.

But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, “Lord save me”. Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him, saying to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14:30–31).

Peter had no control over the wind or the waves. He knew that they were there before he stepped out of the boat.  While Peter was in the boat, he had “some control” over his situation. As long as he stayed in the boat his chances of getting through this seemed a lot better. But Peter, upon the Lord’s command to come, steps out of the boat.

As we read the Gospel accounts we get a view of the Apostles wavering faith. But after the Resurrection and into the book of Acts we see how the faith of Christ’s followers became rock solid. They had all “gotten out of the boat” and were “walking on the water”. They lived out their daily lives believing with faith in the power of the Resurrection, Jesus was alive!

In your Christian walk, are you still in the boat? You’ve put your faith and trust in Christ for salvation, you celebrate the Resurrection on Easter, but have you obeyed his call to come to him, “on the water”, to trust him to grow your faith on a daily basis?

For some, Easter is a boat. It was a place that you felt somewhat secure, for a moment, during the storm. In it, you felt the peace, security, and comfort being reminded of the power of the Resurrection.  Perhaps at that moment, you felt as though you could walk out on the water, you were excited, you asked God to give you the faith to do so. However, now you are looking to get back in the boat because fear and doubt have quickly turned your attention away from Jesus. You’re reluctant to cry out for help because that would show your weakness, so you attempt to swim back to the boat, fighting against the swells and the wind, by yourself. “If I can just make it to Easter again, or even Christmas!” Those boats are a long way away.

This story of Peter, I believe, is there to remind us that there is faith in the Resurrection, outside of the boat, in the storms. Yes, there will be times when we sink, but that is when we need to cry out, that is when our faith in the power of the Resurrection grows, even after Easter.

So where is my Faith in the power of Christ’s resurrection now that Easter Sunday has come and gone? Is my Faith in Christ and what He did alone, or in what I can “control”?

The power of God that raised Jesus from the dead indwells every believer. It is what causes the new birth. This resurrection power of Easter is the same power that enables us to walk daily in faith and not by sight.  Step out of the boat!

You, however, are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if in fact the Spirit of God dwells in you. Anyone who does not have the Spirit of Christ does not belong to him. But if Christ is in you, although the body is dead because of sin, the Spirit is life because of righteousness.  If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you (Romans 8:9–11).