St. Augustine once triumphantly exclaimed, “The resurrection of the Lord is our hope!” The truth is, it is our only hope.
Without question, some people’s lives are better than others, but not even the happiest among us can say that life couldn’t improve. We instinctively intuit a better world one where people suffer and die no more, where perfect peace and harmony reigns between God and His creation.
This is our certain hope in the resurrection event. And it is not based on wishful thinking, nor mere human reasoning. It is grounded in historical fact, believed by faith that God, Himself, walked among us, suffered, died, and rose on the third day.
Jesus Christ is risen from the dead! This proclamation is at the heart of the Gospel. As Saint Paul insists, “If Christ has not been raised, our preaching is in vain and your faith is in vain.” (1Cor. 15:14) And, “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all men most to be pitied.” (1Cor. 15:19).
Paul knows that without the resurrection, Jesus is merely just another human philosopher who promises a better world, but in the end, can’t deliver.
Only God, Himself, can restore what was lost and make all things new. (Rev. 21:5) The resurrection is definitive proof of God’s power to overcome all things, including, and especially, our worst enemies: sin, suffering, and death. Without it, we believe in vain and the world remains without hope.
Easter is a special time for us spiritually. In the same way we observe new life in creation as winter gives way to spring, so we should experience this transformation in each one of our minds and hearts. It begins in this life and is fulfilled when Jesus comes again.
In our tradition, the season of Easter extends for 50 days, until the feast of Pentecost. This extended time can allow the truth of the resurrection to penetrate more deeply and increase our hope, grounded securely in the knowledge that God can, and will restore our fallen world.