Bad news travels quickly in our society. From Twitter to CNN to our local radio stations, we are on top of the news as it happens, when it happens. A recent study of news media uncovered a hidden bias for negative news. It was not, the authors said, intentional. But it seemed to be a Western view of the world with national media most likely to have negative news. The subject of the study was Covid-19. They found that some of the most popular news media, from all political spectrums, emphasized the bad new about Covid-19. Meanwhile, they gave little time for good news, like declining cases or numbers of people getting vaccinated. Then there are scandals. Scandals seem to travel even faster than other news. Within hours of a politicians misspoken words, we have added a new phrase into our collective vocabulary. Our society thrives on comments that score a hit, words which embarrass a speaker, or the uncomfortable discovery in a famous life.
Which makes Easter and Easter’s message so very different. Easter is God’s word to us that God can take the most difficult, painful and embarrassing circumstances we encounter . . . God can take even death and bring new life. God can take each of our lives, yours and mine and bring life where we thought only death existed.
No one can prove the resurrection to you. Yet there are signs of Easter’s promise written into our days. Spring always follows winter. We see the world changing around us. Flowers blossom where only snowdrifts stood. Scripture doesn’t record many trips to the tomb. Instead, early Christian witnesses found the living Christ present in their lives.
A troubled young adult discovers something in life worth pursuing, leaving messy years behind. We spend years praying for a person who turns her life around. Two grieving people meet, first finding understanding, then joy. The sorrow of a loved one’s death is softened by an inexplicable certainty that on the other side of death lies the promise of life everlasting. Our Risen and Living Christ allows us to face fears, crisis and tears, with hope and optimism. Nelson Mandela, imprisoned for twenty-seven years in South Africa leaves prison, not with hate and bitterness in his heart, nor wanting revenge on his captors, but urging instead that there might be reconciliation and healing for his nation.
Followers of Christ are Easter people, people of the resurrection. The power of Christianity is real because it is lived out in daily life. An empty tomb has never been the greatest proof of resurrection. Evidence which has counted through the centuries are lives transformed and hearts changed because of an encounter with the living Christ. Twenty Centuries of years hold stories of men and women, youth and children who met the Christ and turned from their tears of sorrow, when a new joy filled their lives. Lives broken were made whole. Saints found rare courage to act in faith. Hearts torn apart reached out to love others who hurt. Some found the power to forgive those who had done them grievous harm.
The knowledge comes. We are people of the resurrection. This powerful message rises up in spite of all which might be wrong in our world. The living Christ is with us still
“Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen.” Luke 24:5