Easter is a peculiar Christian holiday for me.
Its always a reminder of how much we overemphasize the crucifixion of Christ and forget about his resurrection.
Lots of people have been crucified throughout history. Hundreds of thousands. Maybe even millions.
Not a lot of people have come back from the dead.
My guess is, if you’re not a Christian and you’re reading this, you know Christians who talk about the cross a lot, wear it around their necks, engrave it on their bibles, and decorate their churches with it.
But you don’t hear a lot of Christians talking about dead people being raised to life. You don’t hear them discussing much about the empty tomb. We, as Christians, are great at admiring the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross… we’re great at worshipping God because of the forgiveness found in the blood of Christ… we’re great at accepting the free gift of grace and freedom because he paid the price, we’re great at getting emotional and nostalgic at easter because we know that “the suffering that brought us peace was upon him,”
…but we’re not so great at celebrating and living what ought to be the most essential part of the Christian message: the face that Jesus rose from the dead… the fact that dead people can be raised up again… the fact that this one life is not all there is… the fact that new life is available to all who will follow him.
The early followers of Jesus didn’t become martyrs because their leader died. In fact, when they heard he had been crucified, they ran away and hid.
But something happened that caused them to believe so strongly that Jesus had risen from the dead that they risked their lives in telling people about it…some of them even to the point of being crucified themselves.
There is no power in the cross. There’s nothing magical about a bloody beam of wood.
Its the empty tomb that deserves attention, the implications of which change everything.