Death is an intruder in our lives and relationships, leaving gaping holes and hardships. It is an enemy that seems insurmountable.
Left to our own resources, we have very little to say, very few answers to contribute.
Our world is left confused and its inability to answer the question of death shows a hollowness in its answers to the questions of life.
And this is exactly how the followers of Jesus would have felt on that first Easter weekend. Death had taken their teacher, their friend, their Lord.
But this death was unlike any other. This was not another victim of death’s relentless dominion over us.
In Jesus’ death was God’s decisive victory: it was part of his plan.
For Jesus was delivered up according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, to be crucified by the hands of lawless men. But, God raised him up, loosing the pangs of death, because it was not possible for him to be held by it (Acts 2:23).
God is not silent in the face of death.
Christ has been raised from the dead, as the Apostle triumphantly states in 1 Corinthians 15, and it continues with a promise to us all. “Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep” (1 Cor 15:20).
It is a promise that we too will be raised up with Christ.
However it is a promise that may at times sit on the shelves of our hearts gathering dust. But it is a promise that cannot stay there for long.
It is too important. It is too relevant. For we live in a world marred by death.
Jesus resurrection is God’s proclamation, his loud and triumphant announcement. Death has been conquered.
“Death is swallowed up in victory.
O death, where is your victory?
O death, where is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55)