Hallelujah, He is risen! Christ is risen indeed! All around the world Christians will be singing, shouting, and sharing this Good News on Easter morning. Easter is the pivot point for human history. The relationship between God and His creation was broken by our desire to be like Him. It was restored by God’s decision to be like us; to live as God with us; to suffer and die for us; and to rise again with a promise to us that all will be restored.
Easter promises that death no longer has control over us. Yes, those we love will die. And we shall experience that threshold as well. But death no longer has a grip on us; or it shouldn’t, if we really believe what we are saying this Easter morning. But do we? Can we affirm Paul’s claim that death has lost it sting because of the empty tomb? There is a poem that I use for almost every funeral service I conduct. It begins like this, “Birth is a beginning and death a destination. And life is a journey:” And it ends like this, “… victory lies not at some high place along the way but in having made the journey, stage by stage, a sacred pilgrimage.”
Easter reminds us that we have been reborn in Christ. It reminds us that the fear that keeps us from living each day to its fullest is only as strong as we believe it to be. Jesus knew all along how his sacred pilgrimage would end. On many occasions he tried to tell his disciples that his ministry would end at the cross, but not his life. It was a concept they could not comprehend. And even when they saw him resurrected, it took the power of the Spirit at Pentecost to finally get them living unafraid of the consequences of proclaiming this Good News to all who would listen. The power unleashed by the faith of Jesus, turned frightened disciples into “super-heroes” who no longer feared life or death but walked confidently toward the destinations God had prepared for them. May we respond to Easter in the same way this year, no matter what may come. And pass it on.