DISILLUSIONED: The first Easter?
The first Easter day was not as cheerful as we have come to believe. Actually, Jesus’ followers were disillusioned over the outcome of their leader’s demise. Their hope was that Jesus would deliver Israel (Luke 24:21). After they had been with Jesus for three years, they failed to recognize Him and completely misconstrued His mission. Jesus’ idea of a kingdom, they expected to be a revival of Jewish nationalism (Acts 1:6). According to the witnesses, the Risen Christ had to spent forty days to correct their misconception regarding the kingdom (Acts 1:3).
The first Christians were no different from those that followed after them. Throughout history, attempts have been made to identify Christ’s Kingdom with nationalism. Politics and religion were intertwined. The pilgrims came to America for the purpose of escaping political and religious persecution. Once they had settled in the new world, they too became intolerable towards beliefs other than their own. Maryland was the first to grant religious liberties. It was taxation without representation that brought the colonies together. The politicians that framed the Constitution of the U.S.A. had denominational affiliations. Atheist lived in closets. These founders were guided by “Biblical Principles” that guaranteed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. These were God-given rights and they were not to be interfered with by the state or by any religious organization. That is why we have had political and religious tolerance. Both, the Church and the State were subject to the Ten Commandments and to God the Creator. That is why we had Christians lead the new nation.
The U.S.A. is not a Christian nation. It never was. Rather, it was a nation that was run by Christians. Christianity was never intended to be a nation but a moral force in the world. The Kingdom of Christ is not of the world, but of the heart (Luke 17:21). It is intended to bring justice, peace and good will to all peoples and not just to Americans or Europeans (Luke 2:14). If we think that we are a Christian nation then we are just as disillusioned as those disciples of Jesus were. Our Christianity, itself, is being wrapped in Americanism. Many of our politicians are not just atheists, but pseudo-Christians (II Timothy 3:5). Their aim is to eradicate Christian morals altogether. But what liberal secularists cannot eradicate is the Christ within us, the hope of our glory (Colossians 1:27). The “Temple of the Holy Spirit” is the individual and not the nation (I Corinthians 3:16-17; 6:19).