Today is Easter. A cloudy, dreary Easter at that. The day when death itself dies as it’s defeated by the power of life, the power of God, the only power that can overcome the curse of death—perfect righteousness that death is not allowed to touch or taint, but only tremble at.
This cosmic triumph of life over death—inaugurated by Jesus’ resurrection as a prelude and precursor to the triumph that all who belong to Him will one day experience—should be the one that matters most. It is the one that matters most. But amidst the strain, despair, and brokenness of life, it doesn’t always feel like the one that matters most on a day-to-day level.
Other deaths feel more important, more in need of resurrection. The death of lifelong hope for marriage and family. The death of a once viable career. The death of aching loneliness. The death of perpetual financial worry and instability. The death of grief over all that was hoped for in life but never even existed—aborted hopes and dreams that never even had the chance to announce their arrival with a cry of life. The death of poverty, elitism, racism, socioeconomic inequity, abuse, mistreatment, neglect, bullying, abandonment, desperation, hunger, exposure, pain, sickness, infertility, bad marriages, being misunderstood, not being able to fulfill a vision or desire for good in the world.
These are the things I want to die today, and for everything good their opposite to spring to life, like brown grass turning green overnight. Like flowers pushing up through the dirt of a freshly-dug grave.
But today is not that day. And it probably won’t be tomorrow or the next day either. It could be years, centuries, millennia, before that day comes. But this day is the promise and reminder that that day will come. Christ the Lord is risen today, but until the fulfillment of all things, we carry around inside us His life in seed form. We walk amongst and live within a sphere of death, both personally and globally. The ugliness of sin and death taints and taunts us every day.
But we’re still in the middle of the story. And it is guaranteed to have a happy ending for those who belong to Him. So while Easter is the celebration of an accomplishment, the story is still very unfinished in real time. Easter is a day not of ultimate fulfillment, but rather persistent hope. Not hoping for something that might happen, but that through Christ’s resurrection, is guaranteed to happen.
So it may be cloudy and dreary today, both meteorologically and existentially. But someday, the sun will come out and shine on a perfect world, where all the things we want to be dead will be dead forever, and all the things we want to be alive will be real and true and beautiful forever.