In the days, weeks and months following the Resurrection, the committed followers of Jesus became heralds of the good news of His saving death and resurrection. The result was new believers who experienced a transformation of their lives.
Those who heard and believed became those who heralded the good news of the gospel.
That message was shared locally at first and eventually would spread to the uttermost parts of the Earth. In short, the aftermath of the Resurrection was obedience to the Great Commission Jesus gave.
On the personal level, fearful disciples became fearless heralds of God’s good news. Timid apostles became bold proclaimers.
Converts were made and local churches established. Church members began caring for and sharing with the poor. Evangelizing and disciple making became the order of the day.
The chain reaction began in a remarkable way on the Day of Pentecost when Peter’s preaching and the Holy Spirit’s conviction resulted in 3,000 receiving the gospel and being baptized. Later, a single conversion would have worldwide impact — the encounter with Christ that Paul had on the road to Damascus. His conversion and call to gospel proclamation resulted in three missionary journeys that saw churches come into existence.
In God’s timing and with the Spirit’s direction, Paul and his associates initiated the spread of the good news into Europe when they responded to a famous Macedonian call that came in a dream (Acts 16:6–10).
Part of the aftermath of establishing churches in various cities was the writing of inspired letters — some of which became part of the New Testament.
These letters have continued to be read worldwide as vehicles of God’s inspired truth and saving message. Before the close of the first Christian century, the exiled Apostle John received visions from the risen, ascended Christ about things to come.
Our minds can then leap across the intervening centuries to recall our own saving encounter with Christ and the gospel message that “Jesus saves” because of the unique influence, example and words that came to us through people God brought into our lives.
The aftermath of Easter is an unfinished story. Who might yet be reached through our personal witness and faithful stewardship?
Editor’s note – Jerry Batson is a retired Alabama Baptist pastor who also has served as associate dean of Beeson Divinity School at Samford University and professor of several schools of religion during his career.