Alleluia! Christ is risen!
He is risen, indeed! Alleluia!
And so we move out of the dark of the grave and into the light and life. Our crucified Lord is risen from the dead! Alleluia! Alleluia! Alleluia!
Easter, both the day and the season, is all about the resurrection of Jesus Christ. But, of course, Christianity is all about the resurrection of Jesus Christ, so much so that without the resurrection of Jesus Christ there is no Christian faith at all. There have been multiple attempts even so from the second or third century of the life of the Church to make the resurrection of Jesus Christ about something other than the physical resurrection of the Nazorean Jesus bar Joseph. So passe, so provincial, so middle class to actually believe that a tradesman turned rabbi lived, died, then lived again. The dead do not rise from the grave, or so the cultured despiser of Christianity, and even some poorly misled Christians, would have us believe. It is as if He rose from the grave, so dear His teachings, not that He literally did. Or, the early witnesses of the resurrection were misled by smoke and mirrors created, perhaps, by some of His disciples. But, the all-time favorite denial of the resurrection over the centuries goes something like this, Jesus lived and died to teach us all to be good people and do good things for others.
A version of this hit social media on Easter Day, when a one-time pastor of Martin Luther King, Junior’s old church, Ebenezer Baptist in Atlanta, Georgia, turned politician wrote that the “meaning of Easter is more transcendent than the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Whether you are Christian or not, through a commitment to helping others we are able to save ourselves.“ The “pastor” deleted his tweet after people noted that nothing can be more transcendent than the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the redemption of creation because we are unable to save ourselves.
No resurrection of Jesus, no Christianity.
And there would be also no hospitals, colleges, hospices, nursing homes, orphanages and hunger relief ministries and all those other things that arose out of Christian faith in the resurrection of Jesus Christ and His commandment to love one another. It takes the power of the resurrection of Jesus Christ to create and sustain a movement dedicated to love of neighbor over thousands of years, for mere human will is never sufficient over the short haul or the long.
We do these things because we live in the light of the resurrection, and not the darkness of the grave. Freed from the power of sin, death, and the devil, we may commit ourselves heart and soul and mind to doing what needs to be done when we see suffering in the world.