What Easter Is About
Posted March 31, 2021)
“Easter – what is THAT all about, anyway?” This is the kind of remark you may have received from someone who’s never had an interest in Faith, nor much exposure to it, either.
What would be most interesting however, is how YOU might respond to this question, asked by somebody who’s really not expecting a legitimate answer. In fact if we’re being honest, most of us who do go to church – at least on Easter— don’t really think about it much either. We’re more focused on the joy and the flowers and the candy -- even on the eggs, chicks and bunnies that have been made the ambassadors of Easter by our culture. Perfectly understandable after a very rough 2020.
So... how would YOU answer this Easter question? What IS Easter all about, especially in this past year when we’ve lived under the shadow of so much fear. What does this Easter mean to you? Especially in this year, Easter means something significant to us as individuals.
Join Us Easter Sunday in Our Sanctuary
Our Easter Sunday service begins at 10 a.m. in our sanctuary on 164 Deer Hill Ave. Please register in advance so that we can assure proper social distancing among our worshippers. Register here for Easter Sunday.
Additionally, the service will be livestreamed to Facebook, where you may view it live or at a date and time more suited to your convenience.
One Overarching Proof
Even when we look at all four Gospel writers, each of them saw the Resurrection with slightly different significance. In Mark, there were no angels, only the empty tomb. In John there were angels, but they only appeared to a woman and not Peter and John. Whichever version we read, there is one, single, overarching truth that captures it all: Jesus lives.
The disciples who scattered like sheep in the face of the killer Roman juggernaut, who abandoned Jesus, are faced with an awful truth. Jesus is not a leader of the past, but is a man of the present day. We, too are faced with this truth. For as often as we may have found our faith waning during this year of a plague, Jesus still walks among us.
Easter is God’s ‘Yes’
Two prominent theologians – Dominic Crossan and the late Marcus Borg who I met before he died – had a concise way of looking at it. They said, “The truth of the first affirmation ‘Jesus Lives’ is grounded in the experience of Christians throughout the centuries... the second affirmation is ... God has vindicated Jesus. God has said ‘yes’ to Jesus and ‘no’ to the powers that executed him. Easter is not about an afterlife or about happy endings. Easter is God’s ‘yes’ to Jesus against the powers who killed him.”
For me there is no better “scientific proof” that Easter really happened than the fact that a bunch of cowards who, in one week, ran when Jesus needed them the most, are the same group of now true believers who, in the next week after Calvary, are willing to lay down their lives for Jesus. Something profound happened that they were witnesses to.
We are here, in this present year of 2021. We are among that group that Jesus called out on that post-Resurrection day when he appeared among the apostles, and spoke to Thomas. “Blessed are those who have not seen, and yet believe.” In this Holy Week, we ought to spend some moments thinking about the pandemic time when we may have seen Jesus in another guise... as a nurse, as a patient, as someone who mourned, as someone who lifted up the despairing. Then we can truly say, Jesus Lives.