How do we begin
to fathom Easter?
The Lord has risen. He has risen indeed. Halleluiah!
But a lot of bad stuff happened first.
The Easter story is about triumph, but it is also about trial. The Easter Story is about resurrection, but before it had to come death. The Easter story is about salvation, but only as it washes away sin.
I see more dichotomies in the events of Holy Week. Weeping versus shouting. Healing oils versus sour wine. Calls for nonviolence versus acts of torture. Compassion versus cruelty. Forgiveness versus blame. Humility versus power. Loyalty versus betrayal. Self-sacrifice versus self-preservation.
It seems that we can’t have one without the other.
Why mention all that now? Because it’s hard for me to understand Easter without the context of the week that came before it or, more accurately, the full season of Lent that came before it. We can’t go straight to the Resurrection and grasp it. First we have to go into the dark:
Pain deep as nails.
Feeling utterly forsaken.
The price of admission to Easter isn’t suffering, but it sort of is. Only when emptied are we able to be filled. Out of our sharpest anguish comes our most authentic hope. Only then can we believe the glorious mystery and rejoice.
All the drama of Holy Week—all that darkness—it unfolds in our lives in various ways all the time. What comes next is always Easter, when we hearken to it, isn’t it? What is Easter to you? How do you encounter its glorious mystery?