Up From the Grave
Every year, we celebrate Easter. Every year, we go to church on Easter Sunday— especially if it’s been a while. Every year, we gather after with family and/or friends to have a meal. It’s a ritual, for most of us, on this Easter Sunday.
And yet, this year, things are different. We’re more aware now—more aware of the fragility of life. We’re more aware of the frailty of our nation and its future. We’re more aware of the ways in which things can change in an instant and all we love can be gone or radically different.
Something died last year. It wasn’t a person; it wasn’t a thing. It was our collective feeling of hope. We lost hope. We lost the feeling of progress and optimism. A pandemic, subsequent mandates and lockdowns, a long summer, and an even longer election season forced us to come to grips with the reality that the world is not well.
And yet, something was born last year. It wasn’t a person; it wasn’t a thing. In the UK, “hope” and “prayer” were some of the most searched for words of 2020. Imagine that. In a nation much more secular than even our own, religious words were some of the most searched for of the year. Out of the death of hope, a curiosity was born.
I believe the worldwide church could be on the brink of revival and a new relevancy. As we emerge from the pandemic, what message will we give the world? What kind of hope can we offer a society that is lacking it? The answer: Easter, the ritual holiday we celebrate blindly every year without thinking. In Easter we are given the greatest expression of newness and hope there ever was. Jesus, God himself, seemingly defeated by His very own creation, emerged from the tomb victorious over sin and death. In Jesus’ resurrection, we are all given the hope of resurrection. We are all promised the same experience. Death, brokenness, and sickness cannot win. It never will. Because, as the old hymn cries, “up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph o’er His foes. He arose a Victor from the dark domain and He lives forever with His saints to reign. He arose! He arose! Hallelujah, Christ arose!”