This week people across the globe, from every nation, language, and culture will mark and meditate upon an event that occurred in time and space; the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth for all humanity. Too often, Christians talk about the Faith only in terms of ideas and behavior. Yet what we celebrate this week is an extraordinary witnessed action by God in our world. This event forever change our view of the universe, God, our world, and ourselves. It reoriented our hearts, but also our calendars.
We rightfully mark many great events that changed our world such as 9/11, the American Revolution, the death of MLK, and perhaps now Putin’s invasion of Ukraine. How much more did Jesus’ death and resurrection change every atom of the universe, let alone our view of it, ourselves and our future?
This week we rejoice that Jesus laid down His life for us and picked it up again. It happened. It is history. Therefore when He tells you that you are forgiven completely and for free – you can count on it. When He says, “I am the resurrection and the life, whoever believes in me will never die,” you can cling to His words. He is risen. It’s history.
We are truly living in the year of our Lord. In light of the Christ event everything is different. God is not against humankind, but for us. Those who are pressed down by shame and guilt don’t need to hide before God. He forgives and welcomes sinners. For those who mourn, we have more than social niceties or pithy sayings. Christ is risen. We will rise too. The events of holy week change the way we live with one another as well. If God loves sinners such as ourselves, who are we to withhold care for those around us? If Jesus died and rose for all, even us, who are we to withhold this good news from those we happened to deem “too far gone”?
Oftentimes some people describe the Christian faith as an escape from reality. I suppose sometimes we portray it as that. In fact, it’s the opposite. Jesus has brought reality to a world living in its own delusions. The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand, whether people believe it or not. It’s reality and it’s good!