Why Are You Persecuting Me.
Easter isn't over. It's never over. Because the Resurrection leads to ETERNAL LIFE.
The official calendar has an Easter "Octave" or 8 days after Easter, then another 40 days to Pentacost as
the Easter "Season"- We are still in the Easter "Season." Jesus lives, and reigns, still and forever.
That means new life can resurrect out of nothing any day. Hard hearts can turn to Joy, spitting mean people can turn to generous loving people.
What happened after Easter on the road to Damascus (in Syria) was that the person persecuting the truest believers the most, Paul of Tarsus, a learned erudite man boasting of his cosmopolitain worldliness as the speaker of multiple langauges (Greek, Roman, Hebrew….) and adherer to the law as a Pharisee owed all the rights and privileges of a Roman also, was flattened off his horse and blinded until he could absorb that Jesus was telling him to STOP Persecuting His People. Note to Assad.
Sometimes the Lord tells people to get a grip and get over yourself. Sometimes when they refuse he knocks them off their high horse.
Paul was on a rampage. The believers could not stop talking about the saving power of redeeming Grace through Jesus, and it drove Paul crazy. He couldn't stand it. He was out to stone them all to death- and succeeded with Stephen. We don't know whether he gave the orders on Stephen or not (first martyr) or whether he was part of the lynching party. However-- he was gleefully there cheering on the crowds to rid the place of the blight of Stephen's testimony- that Jesus of Nazareth whom you crucified LIVES - He Rose from the Dead- and you can't stop him. Not even by hanging him in a disgraceful manner for all the world to gloat. Go ahead, string him up on death row in a public execution and barter for all his clothing- still alive. Didn't work. Still Alive. Are you getting this?
Sometimes some people's success makes other people mad with envy. They can't see straight. They want them destroyed. There are people filled with demonic hate who wish people destroyed. Paul was one of them. There are people threatened because people see through their game- so they want them destroyed.
Paul, Paul, why are you Persecuting Me?
Love of the Jesus kind is a radical thing. People are threatened by it. They hold tight to their hate, vendettas, jealousy pride, and egos. They have to be superior. Jesus washed feet like a maid. Jesus did demeaning things to demonstrate love. Some people are offended by that. They want their leaders looking regal. Some people are offended by the notion that you should try to heal people on the Sabbath because saving a life obviously trumps the no-work rule. Even today. Some people are offended that Jesus said "bless those who curse you and spitefully use you and utter all kinds of slander against you." It outrages some people when Jesus says "blessed are the poor for they shall inherit the earth" "blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God". Its a stumbling block to some and salvation to others. The more good there is, the stronger evil people will fight it.
Who are the Pauls in your life who want to crush you? Who are the people holding fast to the cannon laws, legalisms, and pettiness of forms of religiosity without its true meaning trying to kill Love.
Paul, Paul, why are you persecuting me?