A few years ago, I heard a newscaster begin his report about the upcoming Easter season with something like this:
“Easter is the holiday when Christians around the world mourn the death of Jesus”.
Hmmm… Not quite. I think he should have done his research. You see, Easter isn’t about the death of Jesus; that’s Good Friday. Easter is about the resurrection of Jesus. It’s a day of celebration – no mourning allowed.
I suppose all those Easter programs put on by churches every year have done their part to perpetuate this “day of mourning” idea. Most of them spend 55 minutes laboring over the suffering and the death, and only 5 minutes rejoicing in the resurrection and the life. I don’t get it. I love the resurrection. It’s my favorite story in all the Bible.
But it’s only a nice little Sunday School lesson, right? You can’t believe it really happened.
Well, I do believe it happened. I believe it because I have no driving need not to believe it, and every reason to celebrate the tantalizing reality in which such things are possible. The resurrection is one of those events in history that breaks the rules. It violates the so-called “laws of nature” we’ve always been told were immutable, and declares that there are no limits other than the artificial ones we’ve set in our own narrow thinking.
There is so much more to me and you and to this world than we can classify and pin to the Styrofoam. The resurrection of Jesus is one of the touchstones of my faith that reminds me I’m here to push the boundaries, not lock my spirit up inside the uninspired catacombs of the rule-makers and the naysayers. It gives me one more reason to believe that when Jesus declared, “All things are possible to the one who believes”, He meant exactly what He said.
This spring as I watch our hostas stubbornly push their way up through the pebble mulch, performing their annual version of “rolling away the stone”, I realize I have a front row seat to nature’s own Easter pageant. Having lain dead in the long, cold winter, those hearty little believers have risen again in all their variegated glory. They make me think that, far from being impossible, resurrection might actually be the most natural thing in the universe. And they transport me once again to the joy and hope of that first Easter morning.
He is risen!
He is risen, indeed!
:D Hallelujah, and Happy Easter, everyone.