Resurrection Power

I shall refrain from having a fit (and falling in it) concerning the (so-called) “Christian” idea of “Easter.” Nevertheless, I have yet to understand what an “Easter” bunny and “Easter” eggs have to do with the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Eggs symbolize fertility (denoting the pagan goddess of fertility), and bunnies are known for their ability to increase the rabbit population rather quickly, but bunnies don’t lay eggs! Certainly the resurrection of Christ speaks to the empty tomb, where his body previously lay, after being buried, having been crucified for the sins of all humanity; yet, I don’t recall reading about bunnies and eggs in the Good News accounts. And as long as we continue to mix our symbols ignorance of the facts will pervade our attempted understanding of the Resurrected Life.

When the primitive church moved the “gathering day” to Sunday it was out of the understanding and celebration of the Day of Resurrection – the day that Jesus rose from the dead. Thus, the celebration of the empty tomb was every Sunday, and never was it called “Easter” (such terminology didn’t come about in the church until the Middle [Dark] Ages). The early church taught that a true understanding of the resurrection of Christ was vital to authentic Christianity (for it is the basis for life as a Christian and the Church). In a sense, then, they gathered (figuratively) around the empty tomb every Sunday.

Not only did they gather (at least) weekly to celebrate the Day of Resurrection, but the early church acted in the community out of the resurrection life of Christ, daily. They did not simply live in remembrance of the resurrection, but their lives were powered by the living resurrection life. Remembrance defines an historical event that occurred somewhere back in the misty recesses of time. Resurrection Life empowers a living definition, spoken by the living Christ, of what it means to be a Christian and the Church, today. If the Church simply remembers (annually) the historical resurrection event then it loses touch with the present resurrection life.

Nearly 2,000 years ago Jesus Christ left the tomb empty by the power of an indestructible life. The power that raised Jesus from the dead that morning appeared again shortly thereafter on the Day of Pentecost – the day that He resurrected humanity in the form of the Church. The power of the indestructible life is not something to be fondly remembered, but something to be lived into and out of every day. The power of the empty tomb, the same power of Pentecost, is the power at the center of the life of the Church today. If Christ is resurrected, then Christ is alive. Let’s not reminisce about the resurrection, let’s live in its power.

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