Coming near the end of the Easter season, we might ask what we have learned. John 14:23-29 tells us Jesus words “those who love me will keep my word” (keep my commands in other translations) which raises the question of why we would want to.
Jesus also claims “I do as the Father has commanded me” John 14:31. There is a clue.
I think the Easter season gives us time to absorb two big ideas. The first is life beyond what is seen. Against the constant temptation to limit our interest to what we can see, what is available now, the Resurrection widens our horizons and greatly increases the scale of reality. Yes, we shall have to give an account of our use or abuse of all God’s gifts – but just as we learn to look at God’s gifts rather than our own abilities, so we grapple with eternity rather than 70 years life, more or less. The universe is bigger and better than we think.
The second big idea, not denying that the Resurrection of Jesus has all sorts of things to say to us, is simply: “Jesus was right!”. God endorses, in the strongest way possible, his teaching, his life, his sacrificial death. At all the points where we might have wondered “Is that the right way?”, “Is God really like that?” or just “You must be joking!”, God says again “This is my Son, listen to him“, as he had at the Transfiguration, and in part at Jesus baptism (Mark 1:11, Luke 3:22, quoting Psalm 2:7). Jesus spells it out to Phillip, when asked “Show us the Father“, he says in effect, “I have” – and in the Resurrection, the Father agrees.
Of course, that is not the end of the story. We shall have to learn to live with it, and with the Holy Spirit (watch this space . . ). It will take much of the rest of the (Church) year to look at details and specifics, but Easter has set the scene: Life is bigger and has more potential than you thought, and Jesus is right!