We live at such an interesting time.
On Labor Day (1 May), I woke up to the morning news that Japan has now a new emperor. With Emperor Akihito’s abdication, the era of Heisei—meaning “achieving peace”—has ended. With Crown Prince Naruhito’s ascendancy to the throne, the era of Reiwa or “beautiful harmony” begins. Among the Japanese people, there is a sense of gratitude toward the old emperor, but there is also a sense of joyful expectation for the new emperor.
There is a parallelism here that points to a deeper truth. With His resurrection, Jesus Christ ushered in—once and for all—a new era that is without end. Its validity is marked by a new covenant of God’s favor toward all people that is “for life.” (Psalm 30:5) This era is a new morning full of joy and expectation because the old has passed and the new has come. It is definitely a WOW! moment.
But it was not so for Peter and Paul. Both men were rudderless, without clear direction or a purposeful future in life. Peter went back to his old life of just fishing for fish and producing no remarkable results. He was settling for second best. Paul, on the other hand, was kicking “against the goads” (Acts 9:5) and hurting himself as he was going about his murderous rampage against the followers of Christ. This held no sustainable future for him. Then Christ appeared to each of them, and a new outcome came about—Peter and Paul were changed men forever. As they championed the cause of Christ, they became the founding fathers of the early Church.
We are at such an interesting time because, like Peter and Paul, we live in this new era of God’s favor that is for life. We have joy and expectation for the old has passed—never to return—and the new has come! We who believe are changed forever in Christ and we are able to do great things in His Name.