Following from the post below, here’s another difficult image! It declares an extremely difficult-to-believe idea (in ours or any other culture): that the man Jesus who was crucified on Good Friday was resurrected on Easter Sunday. But this was the unlikely conclusion that his dejected followers came to after a series of experiences on and following that Sunday.
From there on, these ordinary and unremarkable men and women found their lives transformed by a new vision of what it meant to be human. This wasn’t a new philosophy but, they came to understand, a decisive act of the loving creator of the universe to defeat the power of evil and death. Then, they were convinced, this made it possible for all people to be released from habitual fear, greed and violence. These followers got together and created communities open to men and women, slaves and free, and all races. They even considered all to be equal in Jesus and shared their possessions. You could call these communities ‘resurrection communities’ – a kind of evidence for that wild Easter Sunday claim.
So when these followers started travelling around the Roman Empire telling everyone about the risen Jesus (sounding as crazy then as it does now), people couldn’t help noticing how these followers lived: nobody had done it this way before.
Whatever people and kings and empires have done to religion since then (and much of it has been really bad), the Easter Sunday message still stands and still is crucial to the future of the human race. Why not read how the Gospel of John tells the story (links to Bible Gateway): here it’s both personal and cosmic. The story can seem old and distant, but the loving God who tells it still present and longing to give us a new vision of what it means to be human.
It’s not easy to contend with this story, in fact it will get threatening to our egos and ambitions if we do. But how else will we find out what’s really important in life? Start the journey that Jesus unfolds and you will enter into the releasing, enlivening power of the resurrection.