Some thoughts for Easter Sunday, April 21, 2019 (Year C)
It has long been said that if you did not like the weather in Missouri, you should just wait a hour or so and it would change. It very well may be that the weather in Jerusalem some 2000 years ago was like that.
In the homes of the religious and political authorities, the day beckoned bright and early. The trouble maker from Nazareth was dead and buried in a tomb with guards around the entrance to ensure no one bother the body. One more threat to their power and position had been dealt with; order and the rule of law had been restored and all was right with their world. It was going to be a bright and sunny day.
But in other parts of Jerusalem, in the homes and places where the followers of Jesus were hiding, it appeared that the day was going to be dark and dreary. Their leader, their teacher, their friend was dead and buried in a tomb with guards around the entrance . Denied a proper burial two days before, the authorities were ensuring that Jesus would never get a proper burial. And they, the followers of Jesus, were almost certain to be arrested, tried for the same charges as Jesus, and just as easily crucified. This day was most definitely going to be dark and dreary.
But within one hour of sunrise, the forecast for the day and perhaps the future changed. Fostered by the hope that accompanied the ministry of Jesus, some of the women went to the tomb, hoping to complete the burial process. And then they discovered the empty tomb, they discovered that Jesus was not dead but had arisen. A day that might have been dark and dreary was going to be bright and sunny as the Son had risen.
Today, the weather forecast might be very similar. For the traditionalists in the church, the rule of law has been restored. No longer is the church in chaos but in order. No longer are there threats to the traditions of the church. But the laws that have been passed are laws that restrict and deny; they are laws that are contrary to the very nature of Christ’s mission.
But, just as two thousand years ago, the Son rose and illuminated the world, so too does His Resurrection illuminate the world today. The voice of the oppressed and the rejected cannot be silenced just because a set of laws has been passed that say the oppressed and rejected must be silent.
The law said that Jesus was dead but Jesus was alive; the law that said the body must die has been rejected by Christ.
The women who came to that Tomb that morning two thousand years ago could not be silenced, even the laws of society told them to be silent.
Those who followed Jesus then were considered outlaws, subject to the laws that would lead to crucifixion. Today, just as then, the outlaws are telling the traditionalists that Christ defeated their attempts to silence Him and they could not be silenced. Even as the traditionalists claim victory, we know that it is the outlaws who triumph.
Today, the Son is rising and no matter what clouds might be in the air, it will be a bright and shiny day. For in the brightness of the Son, we see a newer and clearer world, a world in which all are welcome, that the oppressed are set free, the rejected welcomed, the sick healed, the hungry feed, and the homeless find shelter and sanctuary.
The statement of the Resurrection is that one can no longer hold onto the traditional view of life and death, of sin and freedom. We are reminded that laws designed to restrict and oppress never work. The rules and laws of God’s Kingdom may be hard to understand but we have been given the freedom to seek that understanding and not rely on the whims and nature of others.
On this day, no matter what it may be, this day will be bright and sunny because the Son has risen.