Easter Day

Words are not sufficient, to put it mildly, for such a mystery as the first Easter Day, the day when, according to the Gospels, Jesus overcame death. As an historical fact, the literal resurrection of Jesus is generally doubted in our society today, but it is hard to believe that the followers of a failed, dead prophet could cause such a change in history unless something unprecedented had happened.

In the Gospels, the first people claiming to witness the resurrection of Jesus were women. If the Gospel writers were constructing a fiction, why would they choose to write in women at this stage when, in contemporary law, a woman’s testimony was not acceptable? Something else is going on.

At the same time, Jesus’s followers were not expecting resurrection and, in the New Testament, we see them struggle to come to terms with events, and then how they attempt to put the magnitude of what they’ve experienced into words.

And these words are magnificent: visions and insight of what they are barely grasping about Jesus — the fullness of God made manifest on Earth — revealing the true character of the loving, forgiving God in supreme acts of love, self-emptying, sacrifice and, ultimately, cosmic victory over evil and death.

Here is both the example and hope for our individual lives and the life of our world. The Good News (Gospel) of Jesus says that true change will come not through the power of money or violence, but through love, forgiveness, compassion and sacrifice. And importantly, through the power of God that’s already at work in the world. He’s waiting for us to respond, change our agendas, and join in — and find the eternal joy that will bring .