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In Retrospect, It’s Different

Read Luke 24:1-12
6 He is not here; he has risen! …8 Then they remembered his words.

Have you ever driven up a winding mountain road, reached the top and looked back down at the road you have traveled? What an awesome experience. It looks nothing at all like it did as you climbed and twisted up the mountain. It is a different perspective. You can see relationships, connections, perhaps reasons why the road turned here or there, followed the route it did.

The resurrection of Jesus, in retrospect ,makes everything look different.  From this side of the resurrection nothing looks the same. Every problem, every struggle, every sin, every pain, every sorrow, in fact all of life, when looked at from the perspective of Easter, takes on a different cast. The late Dorothy Sayers put it this way:

Those who saw the risen Christ remained persuaded that life was worth living and death a triviality–an attitude curiously unlike that of the modern defeatist, who is firmly persuaded that life is a disaster and death (rather inconsistently) a major catastrophe….Perhaps the drama is played out now, and Jesus is safely dead and buried. Perhaps. It is ironical and entertaining to consider that at least once in the world’s history those words might have been spoken with complete conviction, and that was upon the eve of the Resurrection.1

Phillip Yancey says there are two ways to look at human history—evil as normative, even Easter is contradiction. “If I take Easter as the starting point, the one incontrovertible fact about how God treats those whom he loves, then human history becomes the contradiction and Easter a preview of ultimate reality.” 

Somewhere I came across this by Joseph Baley:

“A Psalm for Easter”

Let’s celebrate Easter with the rite of Laughter.
          Christ died and rose and lives.
Laugh like a woman who holds her first baby.
          Our enemy death will soon be destroyed.
Laugh like a man who finds he doesn’t have cancer.
          Or he does but now there’s a cure.
          Christ opened wide the door of heaven.
Laugh like children at Disneyland’s gates.
          This world is owned by God and He’ll return to rule.
Laugh like a man who walks away uninjured from a wreck in which his
           car was totaled.
Laugh as if all the people in the whole world were invited to a picnic.
          And then invite them.

When I asked those in our Sunday School Class on Sunday why they believed in the resurrection, the nearly unanimous answer was, “because of what Jesus has done in my life.” My question then is, do we live in a way that gives credibility to Easter to those who know us?”

1 Dorothy L. Sayers, “The Greatest Drama Ever Staged,” Good News, Nov/Dec ’02, 17.

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