Readings for the 2nd Sunday of Easter
John 20:19-31; 1 Peter 1:3-9; Acts 5:29-42
“Jesus died for my sins.” Typically when Christians talk about forgiveness we point to Good Friday and Christ’s death on the cross. But we might also point to Easter Sunday and the empty tomb as proof that Christ has taken away our sins. “Jesus is risen, so we are forgiven!”
This Sunday’s readings draw a strong link between the resurrection of Christ and the universal message of forgiveness in his name. That forgiveness begins the moment our Savior appears to his disciples announcing peace and showing them his scars. In short order, he gives them their marching orders – to forgive and retain sins (preaching Gospel and Law) in Jesus’ name (John 20).
In the book of Acts we hear Peter and the other apostles fearlessly declare the purpose for which God raised His Son from the dead and exalted him…so that all may know that God is offering them a fresh start (repentance and forgiveness) by believing in Jesus (Acts 5).
We also hear Peter’s voice in the epistle reading where he encourages Christians living outside the Holy Land to hold on to the “living hope” of Christ’s resurrection even as they have to endure persecution for their faith (1 Peter 1).