Against a backdrop of a contagious virus, we celebrate the victory of Jesus over death. We usually fill Easter with chocolate eggs, chicks, cutebunnies and have flowers and all the joys of spring. This is because life is bursting from the cold and dark days of winter just as we remember Jesus bursting from the cold dark tomb. The differences are that the resurrection is not an annual event and it is precisely not a natural event.
We know and love the traditions of the church at Easter. It has its quirkiness in that the date moves according to the lunar cycle, being set on the first Sunday after the full moon of late March. It reminds us that we are still tied to the land and farming, to the emergence of new crops and farm animals. There is a familiar rhythm to the year and it starts with the waking up of life after the winter.
But the events of 2000 years ago were far from regular, expected or predictable. There is nothing natural about the dead rising. It is not part of any rhythm. There was the grief of the disciples and the sheer horror of the execution. Alongside those traumas there was the disappointment of many others who hoped that Jesus would bring something new. The event of Easter was not just a new twist; it was unexpected, supernatural and permanent. Jesus spoke about it and prophets had hinted at it but when it finally happened, everyone was shocked.
A virus may have its way with us and we know that something will get us sooner or later. The message of Easter is that the physical end is not the spiritual end. There is a new life to come very different to the gloom of this life. Like a chick from an egg or a cute bunny, we will rise in the love of Jesus, if we allow him to into our lives.
Revd Kevin Chandra