Happy Easter! God bless each and every one of us as we celebrate that Christ has risen. Because of what we remember and celebrate at this time, everything is different.
Everything is different … do you agree?
Let me ask you, what is the world like? Do we ultimately live in a cold, uncaring, decaying universe? Are we all just on a slow downward trajectory to death? So that whatever good there is, whatever light we come across, is nothing more than a microscopic, millisecond of blurred glow within an eternal, consuming darkness. Because, if that’s true, despair is the only option.
But Jesus declares that his death will not be the end. He stands in front of temple leaders and declares, “Destroy this temple, (talking about his body) and I will rebuild it!” (Jn 2:19). He tells his disciples that he will be condemned, mocked and killed, but that this will not be the end, as three days later he will return! (Mk 10:33-4). He’s talking about something shocking, surprising and unexpected happening after his death. He’s talking about resurrection … about Easter.
Resurrection. Not a disembodied spirit floating about, not a stage after death … NO, resurrection is the defeat of death, and the return to life, only this time uncoruptible, undecaying life. This is our hope. Not that death will turn out to be ok. That death will turn out to be “nothing at all”, so we can float off and be with God. No, our hope is that Jesus will reverse our death, destroy death for us … just as he reversed his own death and destroyed it for himself (1 Cor 15:20-28). So that when Jesus returns, his resurrection power will put the whole world right again, and death will be no more:
Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth … There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away. He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Rev 21:1a, 4b-5
Resurrection declares that God has not given up on us, not given up on this world that we call home. The darkness, the violence, injustice and greed which dominates our world cannot last, because they belong to death and death has been defeated.
At Easter we are again invited to trust in resurrection, to trust that Jesus has, and will, defeat all that is wrong in this messed up world and in our messed up hearts.
Trust Jesus. Trust resurrection. When you find yourself in despair. When you look at this world, when you look at your life and swear that it is broken and beyond repair. When it seems destroyed and that it could never be remade … THEN remember that there is an empty tomb, that death is in fact the moment when things have just begun. In your lowest moment listen for that voice which declares, “Destroy this temple and I will rebuild it”.
Jesus Christ has risen from the dead, and nothing can ever be the same again!
God bless you all this Easter