Read Luke 24:1-35
Dear Friends in Christ,
A number of years ago, a big city zoo moved from its downtown location to a new
site where there was more room. Many of the animals gained larger areas in which to
roam. But the rhinoceros, a fairly dimwitted creature, had lived in a cage too long. Despite
the new expanses all around, it kept to its old boundaries, wearing away the grass to form
an oval path that was exactly the size of its former enclosure.
We who live in a secular society can easily be trapped into thinking that our world
of sight and touch is all there is. We are only interested in the "here and now": "You never
get a second chance to make a first impression." "A bird in the hand is worth two in the
bush." “The one who dies with the most toys wins” "The only things certain in life are
death and taxes."
This sort of world could not have anticipated Easter. With the dawning of the first
Easter Day, the world awoke to a completely new era. As dark and restless as the previous
day had been, Sunday dawned with a new light and a new peace. It was the light of
resurrection, shining from the empty tomb, which defeats darkness, evil, and death.
When Jesus rose from the dead, he gave reality a new dimension. Jesus' disciples
saw the world with new eyes because of Easter. That discovery gave them courage to take
the good news to the four corners of the world. They knew that when they risked
themselves for the sake of the gospel they were not alone. They were already living in the
freedom of God's kingdom.
Easter announces new possibilities. To those who feel caught in impossible
situations, Easter whispers hope. To those who are discouraged by the difficulty of
transforming society, Easter trumpets that evil and despair never have the last word. To
those who face death and separation, Easter speaks of life again.
When we place ourselves in the hands of the living God, we discover that the empty
tomb is our own. It has become an open door to new life. Can we grasp that amazing fact,
or are we, like the rhinoceros, caged by the limits of our own minds?
Make no mistake, without the Resurrection, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15, “We
would, of all people, be most to be pitied for our faith would be futile and we would still be
dead in sin. But," Paul continues, "now is Christ risen from the dead, the first fruits of
those who sleep." The world can never be the same. What more is there to be said?
Except, maybe, "Alleluia! He is risen! He is risen indeed!”