Notes on Easter

“And they remembered His words, and returned from the tomb and reported all these things to the eleven and to all the rest. But these words appeared to them as nonsense, and they would not believe them.” – a partial report from the first Easter morning, as recorded in Luke 24; 8-9, 11, NASB.

Easter is the day Christians celebrate the resurrected Christ. For the world’s 2.1 or so billion Christian believers, of which I am one (although I do not always behave as such in thought, manner and speech), this is the event on which history turns. Without Easter, for example, Christmas would essentially be rendered to Santa Clause and rum cake.

You probably know the basic story: Jesus Christ is born of a virgin, grows to adulthood, lives a sinless life, spends the last three years of that life teaching, preaching and prophesying, is recognized and acknowledged by some as the Son of God; accused by others of being a lying rabble-rouser and blasphemer; brought to trial on trumped-up charges; found guilty of nothing by the local political leader, who then proves to be spineless when he bows to the demands of the religious leaders and orders Jesus’ death via a most cruel and public method. The Romans, who are highly skilled at killing people, proceed to carry out the sentence.

After a bloody and ugly afternoon, Jesus dies. His body is claimed by Joseph of Arimathea, a secret follower of Jesus who history records as a “good and righteous man.” Jesus is quickly buried. End of story.

Only it isn’t the end. Two days later – as predicted – Christ is resurrected, offer forgiveness and hope to a sinful world. A handful of women are the first to learn of this. Naturally, they hurry to tell the disciples – who think the story is nonsense.

From our perspective 2,000 plus years after the fact it’s easy to criticize. They had spent three years with Jesus. They had heard him predict his death and resurrection. They had seen wonderous things; had Biblical mysteries explained. Why didn’t they believe the women?

Would you? I don’t know.

Would I? Almost certainly not. Thankfully, I would have been forgiven.