The Easter Way of Life
It had been a long three days. They had known the feeling of terror in the face of false accusations, the trauma of a mock trial, and the helplessness of standing by while a loved one was convicted of a crime he had not committed. Yet, this was only the backdrop for the deep agony of nameless, hopeless grief that would crash around them like a tidal wave when the one who had been son, brother, teacher, and savior was brutally killed. There is no making sense of such aching sorrow. The first days after such a tragedy found the women who were closest to Jesus in life wanting only to touch and prepare his body one last time in death. He had talked of resurrection. He had said that in three days he would rise. But it was not resurrection that was on the mind of those women. It was death. Imagine the moment of recognition when Jesus stood before them again. Imagine the elation of re-union. Imagine the radiant hope that followed those three days of pain. Imagine the faith that was kindled as a result of that "Easter" experience.
But the Easter story is not only an experience, an event. It is a way of life. The resurrection of Jesus created the hope in Christians that death is never the end—resurrection is. We not only look forward to an eternal future with the Holy One, we have the opportunity to experience Easter moments in the midst of our everyday lives. We know that death and sorrow stand nearby — whether it be physical death, the loss of a job, the loss of a relationship, the loss of a dream —but resurrection also waits to be noticed at the edges of our life. We have all known the wonder of a healing, a new job, a new love, a new dream being born out of the agony of hopelessness. Making Easter a way of life means that we are unwilling to settle for death in any of its forms. We are unwilling to give up hope and belief that new life is always being offered to us by heaven. We are unwilling to be ground down by grief when God's goodness is extended to us. Making Easter a way of life means that we turn our eyes toward resurrection each and every day, searching for its signs, believing in its truth, living into its glory.