I am writing this article the day after Easter. I love Easter. Its message is full of hope. The power of resurrected life overcame death, and that power is offered to us. Wow! Yet, as a friend reflected in his sermon yesterday, “What difference does the resurrection make in your life here and now?” That question is difficult to answer. I believe the message of Easter is one filled with hope, but one that demands a response from me.
My friend continued, “Easter does not gloss over the crucifixion. It does not ignore the ugliness and terror of the cross. Easter cannot undo the slaughter of Jesus … Evil, sin, darkness … Call it what you will. It exists. It is real. It is destructive and powerful.” How many times have I completely ignored what came just before the resurrection? I really don’t like to think of it. I really don’t wish to look at the ugliness of evil. Yet, if I truly believe in the message of Easter, then I must understand and acknowledge that evil, destruction and terror are part of the story. Yes, the resurrection brings life, wholeness and healing, but it does so in the midst of darkness.
“Resurrection is hope in the face of despair. It is the evidence that God’s love is stronger than the human capacity to inflict hurt,” my friend urged. The message has two parts: one that is ugly and one that is beautiful. The whole message must be known.
Hope does not deny that evil and ugliness exist. Rather, hope says that there is an even greater power that overcomes this corruption, and that power is my choice today. The responsibility of my choice is to behave in a manner that lives the entire message. When I choose hope in the Easter message, it is my responsibility to neither ignore nor turn a blind eye to evil, but to remain aware, becoming a vessel bringing Light into Darkness. If I live a life that displays confidence in the Easter message, Evil does not win. If I invest in this resurrection, then my life will be a testimony to the fullness of hope, ever a reflection of its power and beauty.
The resurrection continues today through the lives of those who claim to be followers of Christ. People state that their hope is in Jesus. I would go further and state that my hope is in his resurrection and its power.
I pray you will be inspired and challenged as you read this issue filled with the message of hope.