Boy, am I glad it’s Easter!
Hallelujah! Say it with me, Hallelujah!
Praise God, Easter is finally here! What a relief! You see, Easter is easy. Easter is a piece of cake. What’s hard is Holy Week.
Jesus in the garden is hard. Judas’ betrayal is hard. The crown of thorns is hard. The cross is hard. Holy Week is hard.
I stumbled out of church Friday evening. Denise and I met two of our best friends in the world for dinner, as is our custom on Fridays. And my friend said, “How are you doing?” And I said, “Better now. The hard part is over.” Easter’s easy. Easter’s a piece of cake. Christ is risen…everybody can relax.
But you know, it’s a funny thing. We have this tendency to make Easter hard…imagine that. We make it complicated. We make it controversial. We make it challenging. In all of it, I believe our biggest problem is that we just think too much. Christ is Risen. How can that be challenging?
The Resurrection of Jesus the Christ is the single most important tenant of Christianity. Indeed if there is no Resurrection there is no Christianity.
Yet, it is clear to me that the vast majority of Christians place a qualifier on the simple truth of resurrection. Some Christians believe that the Resurrection of Jesus must meet an empirical litmus test. Others say they believe in a “spiritual resurrection.” Those only a bit more sophisticated might speak of an “existential resurrection.” That was all the rage when I was in Seminary. Some Christians believe that Jesus was raised, “in some sense.” Whatever that means. And some Christians have abandoned the Resurrection altogether, albeit most, keep it to themselves.
Now. In response to all of this, I simply proclaim to you this day, that Christ is raised. Period. No qualifier needed. You see. Resurrection is easy. Indeed, resurrection is inevitable. It is as inevitable as a blade of grass pushing up through the earth. It is as inevitable as a baby’s cry. A sunrise, the wind on your face, the stars in the heavens.
Resurrection is just what God does.
All the time. He takes death and turns it into life, every day, every moment. All around us, on this planet, and throughout the cosmos, it is his only job.
Thus, resurrection is inevitable.
Now, in point of fact, we don’t understand what the Risen Christ was. We only know what he was not. He was not a ghost. He was not a goul. Jesus was not a zombie.
Get this, the Risen Christ could walk through walls, and yet he could be touched. He could eat food. And when people first encountered him, people who had known him for years—is closest friends—they didn’t recognize him…until they did. And the thing is, we just don’t have a category for that.
Even Hollywood with all its digital wizardry, has not been able to conceive of the Risen Christ. And yet, we know he was raised. There were hundreds of eye witnesses. Moreover, our hearts tell us it is so.
Here’s the thing:
The Resurrection of Jesus, was, is and ever shall be a mystery. It is inexplicable. It is incomprehensible. And we have no language with which to describe it. And yet it was, and is.
Sadly, the modern world doesn’t have much time for mystery. So we are not accustomed to it. Since the 18th Century, not much mystery—lots of empirical science, lots of mechanisms, lots of facts, but not much mystery. Hopefully, we will do better in the Post-Modern world.
You know, it has been said that fundamentalists and atheists share a single thing in common, which is the inability to embrace mystery. I don’t know if that is so, but I do know this. Christ is Risen. That truth stands at the heart of my vocation, my Christian Faith, and my life. Christ is Risen. Happy Easter.