Sunday, April 24, 2011

'He is not here: for He is Risen.'

It's Easter morning as I type this, but I can't see bunny rabbits, tall strands of green grass or hidden eggs in front yards, waiting for delighted children to find them and crack them open for candy hidden inside.

Instead, all I can hear is silence. The silence, as if of a graveyard, with none around but those who slumber and wait for that greatly anticipated day of resurrection.

Fitting, I suppose.

For on this Sunday, the world celebrates the greatest miracle ever known. On this special day, exactly 1,979 years ago, the Son of God was raised from the dead — his mortal putting on immortal — in power and glory, that we might be able to follow him and do the same.

Many look for signs of Christ in remembering his suffering in a garden called Gethsemane, or on a cross overlooking a hill named Golgotha — 'Place of the Skull.' But just as an angel of the Lord announced on this day more than two millenia ago, "Here is not here: for HE IS RISEN." Christ is not in the cross; he is not on Golgotha; he doesn't not wait for us as the spirits which look "forward with an eye of faith, and view this body being raised in immortality." Rather, Christ lives; He is not in the symbols of death that enshroud the Christian world's concept of this sacred holiday, but rather in the symbols of Spring time — rebirth, resurrection, and new beginnings. Even as a caterpillar emerges from its cocoon as a butterfly, or a duckling breaks free of its entrapment from within that which once held its form, so too has Christ broken free of the shackles of sin and death.

And he has promised us that we can, too.

The miracle of Easter is not only in His returning from death and sin; it is that we all may do likewise. Even as we try to follow and emulate the Savior, the Son of God and the Master, we can do as He did. Where is the sting of death? Yea, it is swallowed up in Christ Jesus.

May we all remember the true meaning of Easter, even as we contemplate Him who first celebrated it so long ago.

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