Imagine if you will that you left the United States and lived in Europe for a decade. You haven’t been back to the stage for a long long time. Upon returning and moving back to the states you discover that instead of churches meeting and people worshiping on Sundays people worship and gather on Monday mornings now. Monday morning is still the first day of the workweek for 99% of Americans. However, the church felt that something so significant happened on a Monday that it was worth changing everything for.
Author and speaker Andy Crouch said, “The church at the beginning was not culturally relevant it was resilient.” The church believed so much in the significance of the resurrection of Jesus that they changed history.
The church was born out of Jewish traditions and following a Jewish teacher – Jesus. Jews worship on Saturday because that was the day God set aside as special. Jesus and his disciples and honored Saturday or Sabbath.
However, the resurrection changed everything.
Jesus was crucified on a Friday as memorialized by “Good Friday.” He was raised from the dead on Sunday.
Jesus coming back from the dead means that he won. It means Jesus defeated death. It means everything that Jesus taught was true. It means that Jesus steps into heaven as our defender and high priest. The resurrection means that God has accepted the greatest sacrifice of all time. It means that all victory has been won.
OK let me step back a little bit from the excitement of all the resurrection means…
The early church rightly saw the resurrection as the best thing since sliced bread. Therefore, they made the choice to begin gathering and worshiping God on Sunday. They made this change because of the life changing belief they held.
Saturday was the day that choose worship God and so Christians probably looked pretty weird to Jews. The rest of the world really didn’t have a special day they took off. So when the Jews took off Saturday and the Christians took Sunday to worship it was countercultural.
The early church made a doubly countercultural move not because they thought they could be culturally relevant but because they were resilient. They believed in the power of the son of God and his teaching. They believed that something happened on a Sunday that changed the world.
How about me today? How resilient am I? As a Christian in my cringing in fear at the swirling culture around me? Or am I consumed by the magnitude of what Jesus has done? Am I acting out of a spirit of fear or a spirit of power and of love?