Easter. There is no greater day. That is because it is more than a day. It is the day of the resurrection to be sure. It is also the dawning of the New Creation. We are reminded that as a result of the resurrection death is no more. Sin has been broken. The devil is on the run.
Easter and God. The list goes on and on, as layer upon layer, is peeled back as we examine Easter, peer into the mysteries of life—human life, spiritual life, emotional life, intellectual life and still we keep peeling back the layers. We become instant theologians. This is the day the Lord has made (Psalm 118) we are told by the psalmist and yes, we should rejoice in it. The source of joy is God acting through Jesus Christ. One layer, certainly worth considering.
Easter and knowledge. We return to this word “Easter” and we try to explain. Yes, we also try and understand. The resurrection is not beyond knowledge. It really is the beginning of knowledge. Discernment enters at the entrance, or perhaps the exit, of the empty tomb. Light shines. We are literally enlightened on this day as wisdom and truth are held together by discernment and we know—we have spiritual knowledge—today is not just an event in time that happened a long, long, time ago. It is a timeless event. Jesus, by the power of the resurrection, by God’s act, makes available the Kingdom of God to all on earth as it is in heaven. In one sense, it means our universe and planet earth are not part of a “closed” system but God enters life and is not absent like some deists and agnostics believe, but God is present. In another sense, it means prayers are answered, miracles happen, and our life-in-Christ is never ending. Another layer.
Easter and the resurrection. We celebrate the resurrection. It is a bodily resurrection. And it is here I am a literalist. Don’t get me wrong. My body is mortal, limited, finite. Right now, it is pieced together with more metal parts and plates of titanium than I could ever have imagined. Yet, my human body is still moving even though there are just a few aches and pains and every day the sand is slipping faster through the hourglass. Spend some time with First Corinthians chapter 15. It should be required reading today—especially today. “How are the dead raised? With what kind of body do they come? Fool!” (I Cor. 15:35). Paul goes on to write that God will give us a body appropriate for eternal life. Human bodies are just that—human. Keep peeling.
Easter and our identity. We like to think the world revolves around us. We delude ourselves in believing we are the reference point. It a self-centered view of life. Today, the Risen Lord provides an alternate universe, a different way of looking at life, a supernatural world, the Kingdom of God that allows us to experience the peace of God, the love of God, the hope of God, and joy found by living in and trusting God. Our faith is in Christ so that Paul writes “it is no longer I who live but Christ who lives in me” (Galatians 2:20). No longer is our life self-centered but it is now centered in Christ. With this, another layer is peeled as we live a life of renewal, experience a transformed identity and stand on a faith that is as real as the empty tomb.
(Panting: “The Resurrection” by Matthias Grunewald. Colmar, France. Undterlinden Museum. 1515.)