The Easter story teaches us some valuable lessons
“He arose! He arose! Alleluia! Christ Arose!”
– Robert Lowry, 1826-1899
Another Easter is here and this tells us that time is marching on. Easter 2018 seems like just yesterday.
We are thankful to be alive, for the beauty of the earth and for the meaningful relationships that make our lives worthwhile. These and other blessings give us hope and encouragement every day in the face of life’s challenges.
At Easter, we Christians celebrate and proclaim that Jesus rose from the dead, as the Bible teaches. This act of Jesus conquered sin and death, and brought humanity into a new relationship with God. The disciples, the Jewish religious authorities and the Roman officials all thought that Jesus was “finished with” – gone from good, but not so.
The Easter story becomes a parable for everyday life, teaching us some valuable lessons.
• Life is full of overcast days when we think that the worst weather is about to break loose. Then, suddenly, the sky clears and the sun comes out. Have you ever experienced this in the course of your day?
• Life has many bad situations that seem to have no good value or positive outcome. Then, eventually, some positive peeps out in the gloom, surprising us since we had felt and had thought the worst. We even have a saying that “behind every dark cloud is a silver lining”. How many silver linings have you experienced in your lifetime? Don’t be afraid to remember them and to tell others about them.
• Life is full of terrible, painful events which bring our world crashing down to the ground. We feel like we have lost everything but, then, the tragedy leads to new and wonderful things that we could never have imagined happening before. How many tragedies have you seen that lead to better and unexpected outcomes?
• God has the last say. Life is full of examples of apparent endings that are far from the end. They are actually only pauses which lead to a continuation into a new chapter. Sometimes we do not look hard enough for continuations.
These facts about the resurrection do not lead to a trouble-free life. They do not take away the pain and disappointment of reality. They do not mean that everything will always be “just fine”.
In fact, bright spots and positive outcomes may not happen to us as often as we would like. In our unhappiness, pain, trouble and disappointment we may not be able to appreciate any of this “silver lining” talk. It may actually be the last thing that we want to hear when we have been hurt or betrayed, or when we cannot provide for our families.
However, that we are alive, that life goes on in spite of it all, and that we see yet another day, are all clues that we need to carry on. It is the most powerful reminder to the Christian and to everyone else that God is alive, and that there is hope, and that the power and love of Jesus are real. We need to believe this. We need to live this and to share it with others so that they can know that God is alive.
Easter is meaningless if we keep it as a story written on a page in the Bible or only as a belief that we hold in our hearts. When we live and care for others as we ought the story of the resurrection of Jesus jumps off the page; it takes on real and practical significance in someone’s life; it lets others know that the hope, renewal, new life and joy are real and can touch even their lives and situations.
The words of the angel were true then and are true now: “He is arisen. He is not here” (Matthew 28:6). Because he is out in our world making a difference in human lives through you and me. Our living makes hope and new life real in the lives of others.
Happy Easter from the Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas and The Turks and Caicos Islands, and from Bishop Laish Boyd and his family.
• Right Reverend Laish Z. Boyd is the bishop of the Anglican Diocese of The Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.