by Elias Blum
It is easy to live in the world of Good Friday. The evidence for it is always before our eyes. It is a world where armies occupy, where rapacious governors rule, and corrupt elites collude. It is world where justice is bought and sold, might triumphs over right, and the innocent are tortured and killed. It is world where religion is repressive – where zealots attack, bigots condemn, and priests fleece the credulous. It’s a world were the wicked are in palaces and the virtuous are, all too often, in chains.
It is so much harder to live in the world of Easter Sunday – a world that has been turned upside down, a world where the first are last and the last first. An new Eden in the making, where none turned away from the table.
And yet, in the resurrection story, this remarkable alternative reality is presented to us. For all its present groanings, for all its injustices and corruptions, the resurrection declares that the world has been, is being, and ultimately will be redeemed. We see a hope that can die, but refuses to stay dead for long. It is on the basis of this resurrection story that we can have confidence that, no matter how dark the present might seem, there is a light that shines in the darkness – and, remarkably, the darkness has not overcome it.
To me, the essence of Christianity is to live as if that story were true. Because, if it is true, then there is a joyous and transformative hope in the world that no empire, no army, no death, can ever destroy. That means we are going to be ok. It means our simple efforts are not in vain. It means that the ultimate restoration and redemption of the whole cosmos is closer today than it has ever been.