Christian tradition tells us the season is about the crucifixion of Christ and His resurrection.
That might be so – but I wonder if we are not selling ourselves short by thinking it is only about Jesus.
For me, the beauty of Easter is not what has happened to Jesus but why it has happened to him. The suffering, the blood and gore often portrayed in paintings and in movies about the crucifixion are not the central plot of Easter. The world has condemned and killed many people unjustly before and since – that is not new. What is novel, however, is that we have never seen someone go willingly into death only to return from it three days later. In today’s world, such a scenario is so inconceivable that many of us write it off as just another story. It must have never happened.
After all, why would he do that? Why would anyone do that?
For a new perspective.
But Jesus did not need a new perspective.
And that is what sets him apart – and the key to a deeper Easter. Jesus was already fully aware that life does not end, it just changes – and that is why he went so calmly and peacefully into what we would equate to destruction. He knew about the immortality of the soul firsthand, and he came to show us. He was certain of it while we still struggle to internalize it. He did not fret – we fear death.
So, he came to teach us about it. And as the extraordinary teacher he was, Jesus did it in the best possible way: instead of just talking about it (which we are so used to doing and prophets of different religions had done for eons before him), he showed us by living it in front of our eyes.
When he did that, it became about us too. Easter is for us, from him.
Easter is about what we were going to do now that we saw him resurrect from this so-called death and know that the world we live in and its warped values are not the be-all and end-all we think it is.
In many ways, Easter is about how we will resurrect from holding the belief that only physical life matters and open ourselves up to new perspectives. Because there is no death, Easter is about life – and choosing to see it for what it really is. And that is what is so hard because we are so used to our old ways…
But resurrection is happening all around us at any time of the year.
The friend who is struggling through life and has sought a therapist to help him move forward is resurrecting. He is crafting a new way of seeing life.
The family who suffered the clinical death of their daughter during her struggle with cancer only to have her return to life is resurrecting – not only their child but their family. They are focusing on what truly matters: loving each other.
All of us who have gone through a global pandemic that sent us indoors and changed how we led our lives are also resurrecting. We are still searching for what life should be like, what we truly want, and how we are going to work through it.
The examples are all around us. The question remains: how are you resurrecting? How are you focusing on what truly matters?
After all, should we really continue to conform to a world that insists we should focus on self-interested practices and behaviors that lead us to injustice, unwellness, and suffering? Can we not consider that a definition of madness?
When we see it from this new perspective, we have no choice but to start to focus on true well-being – spiritual well-being – and challenge the standards of the world and collaborate with each other to grow. When that happens, we will be calm and serene no matter what the world may throw at us. That is resurrection.