Christ is Risen … We remember the “good old days” – and sometimes we work hard to recreate them. We have some experiences and we know some people that we wish could live forever—just as they were, or just as we remember them.
Easter is the celebration of a “return”. It is a return to things just as they used to be, and to things as they have never been before. Jesus, as he is portrayed in the Christian Testament, is someone we can trust with eternal life. His ability to give comfort and hope, and the healing that his very presence conferred on people—this is something worth keeping. His willingness to confront structures of power which oppressed others, and his ability to offer correction without condemnation—these traits make him someone whose presence benefits everyone. He could party with the best of them, but he also was willing to suffer with and for others. He helped carry burdens, and he was very careful about telling other people what they ought to—or had to do.
From all the evidence we have of the kind of life Jesus lived, he is someone – the only one – I would want to come back to life and live forever among us. We celebrate his rising—yes. But more than that, we celebrate his on-going life among us and within us. And with the centurion who guarded Jesus as he died on the cross, we stare into the empty tomb and ponder the possibility that “Surely, this man was the Son of God.”
Scripture Lesson: Matthew 28:1-10
Messages provided by New Members with brief reflection by Mark