Resurrection is about finding hope, seeing what’s right with the world when everyone else sees what’s wrong. It is an attitude, and orientation, an outlook that moves us past dwelling on what’s wrong with the world around us. Resurrection is about what’s right, what the new opportunities are… the avenues of hope and the open doors, when everyone else expects to see closed and boarded up buildings.
Yet for the women who come to the tomb that morning, they had no other frame of reference. This was so completely outside of their expectations, that it’s no wonder that they’re confused. Only at the point where they actually look back at what has happened, and with the revelation of the messengers, do they begin to get it. Remember what he told you… they say… but it would only make sense after the fact.
Resurrection is far more than the resuscitation of a corpse. Resurrection is new life where everyone else expects death. The miracle and wonder of Easter isn’t just what happened on that first Sunday morning, it brings with it a whole new orientation and understanding to life. It’s something that we had never seen before. In the time that Jesus preached, he was trying to get people to see the world the way God sees it. He used parables to challenge people, to take all of the common expectations and turn them on their ear. He would tell these stories with a surprise twist on them, to show the unexpected and wonderful grace of God… that God sees and loves all of creation that goes beyond any human standard that we might create.
Easter is like the ultimate parable. It is the ultimate twist, an ending that nobody ever expected. The tomb was empty… Jesus took everything that the world could throw at him… even his own mortality, and showed us that none of that, including death itself, can overcome God’s love for us. Maybe the challenge for us at Easter this year is to really hear that first question and take it seriously.
“Why do you look for the living amongst the dead?”
What on earth are we looking for, among the dead? Because Jesus is not in the tomb. He is here now, in the midst of all life, both yours and mind. Jesus is mixing things up and turning things upside down and making all things new and demanding that we do the same. The Good News is that Christ is Risen… and the power of that echoes across time and space in ways that we can hardly imagine. It transcends time, it transcends the edifices we build, it transcends all of the expectations about what our faith is about. We won’t find the living amongst the dead. We won’t find new life by dwelling on past wrongs, or complaining, or trying to reclaim some past glory. What we need to do is to let go of those symbols of death and embrace the true new life that is at the heart of the Easter message.
We find new life by living it. The message of Christ’s resurrection calls us to take opportunities that are life-giving. It’s about affirming ourselves and others in their gifts. Take action. If we want to make a difference in this world, we need to be the difference we want to make. Find new ways to live out resurrection. To focus and celebrate on what is right in our lives. To take new opportunities that are life-giving, and to realize who we are and that what we do truly matters to God.