Easter Is the Turning Point
With the Apostle Paul, we proclaim the good news that Jesus is the firstborn of the dead (Col 1:18) and in his resurrection there is the promise of eternal life for all who belong to him. Paul says, “But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died. . . .When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled: ‘Death has been swallowed up in victory.’ Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (I Cor 15:20, 54-55)
Nevertheless, people do die. We are in the midst of a pandemic where death from a new virus comes closer all the time. I am praying daily for victims of COVID-19, their families, and all health-care providers. We want people to live because life is a precious gift from God which we embrace. Yet, thousands of people have died all over the world.
How do we understand Easter and resurrection at such a time as this?
For me, Easter is a kind of turning point. It is the place where God put our mortality in a new perspective. Yes, all human beings will die at some point. Yes, tragedies occur. Yes, pandemics happen. But these evil realities are not the end of the story. For those who belong to Christ, there is eternal life with him in heaven. Death is not to be feared. It has been conquered.
Christ conquered death when he was resurrected. He offers eternal life to all who believe. While people do still die, our approach to death has been forever changed by the first Easter.
The turning point is like the image given in Robert Frost’s poem “The Road Not Taken.” His concluding lines are:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
For me, Easter is that kind of decisive change in direction. We could go down the road of fear and despair, believing that life is meaningless, and death is to be avoided at all costs. Instead, we have taken a different path. While those of us who are still living had not reached the end of the path, our embracing Christ and his resurrection is the crucial step which sets us down a path toward God and eternal life.
When you accept Christ, it makes “all the difference.”