During the past year much of the world has gone voluntarily into lockdown or social distancing, for the good of all.
The story of Easter reminds us that God himself went into “lockdown, of his own choice, for the good of all humanity. Jesus was nailed to the cross and the stone rolled in front of the tomb on what we call Good Friday.
But Easter tells us that God is faithful to the covenant he made with the world when he put the rainbow in the sky (as the story of Noah’s Ark tells us). God promised never again to destroy the Earth by a flood. I understand “flood” to mean a “flood of any sort“ that would destroy everything.
On Easter Day the Father raised his son Jesus Christ from the grave.
This was a down-payment of his faithfulness to us all, of his promise to overcome even the flood of death, the billows of which engulf us all.
If you are locked down by death, there is nothing you can do to escape. Our bodies and souls die. It is the end. So it was for Christ. But the Father raised him from the grave. Our eternal life is not something that just happens. We do not turn into spirits or ghosts when we die. Without God, there is no eternal life. We simply cease existing.
Resurrection for Jesus, and indeed for us, is the pure gift of God. God comes to us when we are totally weak, to bring us out of every lockdown. The resurrection of Christ is the pledge of God’s goodness to you and me.
We have seen that goodness flowing in the past year like a massive river. God works in all of creation. He has been at work in every act of kindness, in every movement for justice, in the actions of every nurse, doctor and care-worker, and indeed anyone on the front line. And one day God will renew all of creation, to bring about an eternal community of love and goodness, where it will be evident in every word and deed that Jesus Christ, who is Love, is Lord.
Let us lean on God’s promises, and let us lean into the future in hope. The power of love that raised Christ from the grave waits to be invited to be at work in and through us all. It is God’s pure gift. In his love he chooses to work in and through you and me. Let us trust in Christ anew.
For Christ is Risen! let us spread the good news!