I’ve been thinking about what to write for awhile. My life is becoming much busier as spring approaches and the sun’s golden glow draws us pale and vitamin-D deficient nerds out from our holes.
My children are now busy digging holes and gathering sticks for absolutely no reason in the backyard.
My grass is becoming greener and ready to do battle with the mower soon.
People are having weddings like crazy.
And the day commemorating the resurrection of Jesus Christ is night. This Sunday, people will gather in churches across the world to give Jesus his due. Some will come to just give him a tip o’ the hat until next year. Others see this as the apex of a 40 day period of fasting, sacrifice and prayer.
Easter is ultimately a reminder of the way things were, they are and the will be. It is the eternal spring of every human’s dormant reality, bursting forth like a flower from the ground and soaking in the fullness of the Light. It is justice in it’s purest form. Justice that breaks the yoke of earthly powers, but more importantly the spiritual bondage that undergirds the earthly bondage.
For those with faith in Christ, the Cross and the Empty Tomb are two sides of the same coin. The Cross marked Christ’s entrance into the bowels of Hades and because it could not contain Him, like a mining tunnel collapsing in on itself, Death was overtaken. Christ’s substitute for us was not to fulfill just some sort of cosmic legal writ, but He was the stitch in time that unraveled the rope binding humanity to Death. He literally cheated Death by being the atomic bomb shoved down it’s gullet.
Three days later, the son of God rose up out of the tomb into a glorified body, being the forerunner of the redemption of true humanity. The state we were created to be was templated by His very presence. Jesus Christ was the gift that gave all humans from the beginning of time to the end a way back into communion with God.
All the flowery language I can conceive doesn’t do justice to this reality, but the point is this – when Easter comes into view, then we can either see the Cross as a torture device (which is it’s old, unredeemed meaning) we are begrudgingly called to take up or we can see it as the place where we are reborn unto God. Our flesh dies but it’s then replaced with our true humanity. We are experiencing that reality inwards and then when we pass from this life to the next, we’ll be ready to take on a body fit for basking in the uncreated light of God.
The person who lives in love reaps the fruit of life from God, and while yet in this world, even now breathes the air of the resurrection. – St. Isaac the Syrian
Between here and eternity, I’m constantly seeing where I am. Every moment and every breathe is a re-centering of myself outside of my linear, narrow dimension and into the dimension where I am mystically united with Jesus Christ in His death, burial and resurrection.
How does Easter take us there? It’s not the day or the date on the calendar which carries the significance, but how our hearts align with the purpose of Easter. When Christ breathed His last on the cross and said “It is finished”, His mission on earth was over, but the end of ages also had began. He signalled that the cross was the point where when we look back on this place and this moment in time, we are at the same time looking at the finishing line. The linear moment in time is actually the end of everything. The end of injustice. The end of evil. The end of death. The end of mourning. The end of Satan. The beginning of hope.
All I hope is that wherever you are in life, you find hope in the cross. I myself am feeling rather defeated lately. I see that just as I grasp the light, the darkness taunts me and does everything it can to snuff it out. Christ is my sword and my shield. He is my hope in all things.
He is the God who spoke the universe into being and stooped down to rub mud in the eyes of a blind man. He’s the same God who led Israel out of slavery and freed a naked wildman from the clutches of a legion of demons.
To me, Easter is about Jesus as God just as much as it is about Jesus as human. He experienced human pain and He turned that pain into salvation for all of Creation.
Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. (Phil. 2:11 KJV)
Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death,
And upon those in the tombs
Bestowing life! (The Pascal Troparion)