Although we are sometimes overwhelmed by our own sense of emptiness, we have access to the power of him who overwhelmed death, emptying the grave.
Resurrection Sunday has come and gone again, but I still celebrate Easter. This rising is a glorious symbol of victory over worldly powers that would divide and denigrate us. It is proof of the kingship and deity of the one who was stricken. It reminds us of the biting serpent, the root of Jesse, the garden promise, he that lives and was dead, the faithful witness. It speaks to our fear of death, and the problems we can never solve. It provides us with the assurance that though the world can be dangerous and ugly, that is not its highest truth. Death is not the end of our story. Because we acknowledge that Jesus resurrected, we admit he died. And we acknowledge that even though we die, we also will eventually be resurrected. His flesh is like our flesh. And the source of his power is proffered to us all.
Every Easter proclaims the beauty of the creation and the intended communion between humanity and the Creator. It discloses the God who calls us to be what he is: broken, vulnerable, filled with the Holy Spirit and full of life. “Though we were dead, yet shall we live.” (John 11:25 KJV)
Each Sunday we reaffirm our belief in the truth which is higher and deeper than death. We call back to God and say yes to his offer of abundant life. We acknowledge that his vision of the world is clear and our own is still in shadow and fog. Although we are sometimes overwhelmed by our fear and anxiousness, we still trust in that early garden morning.
But Mary [Magdalene] stood weeping outside the tomb. (John 20:11 ESV)
John’s gospel describes this broken woman’s hurt and confusion and grief. Jesus had healed her, but parts of her were still fragile.
Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking? (John 20:15)
And this is our occupation every Easter, every Sunday: to return to the tomb where he lies no longer, to respond as Mary did. When he whispers our name, we cry out to him in return, “Rabboni! Teacher! Prince of Peace, King of Kings! Conqueror of death!”
Just as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the man of heaven ... When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”... But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:49, 54, 57)