By Bob Evans
Ultimately, I think, when the life death and resurrection of Jesus is understood, it reveals to the believer that life has power and meaning after all. With this awareness, one may begin to find real peace and see the world through God’s eyes.
As self-aware human beings we are cursed with just enough knowledge about ourselves to ask the questions, “Who are we?” and “Do our lives have meaning?” “Is this life all there is?” The story of Jesus is especially for those of us who are asking these questions in a sincere and worshipful manner, because it is these questions that are faced in the stories of the one proclaimed by Paul to be “Son of God with power according to the Spirit,” and they are the questions that are answered for those who participate in the journey of Jesus.
The story of Easter is for the one who seeks, asks and knocks on the doors of mystery. Many Christians are pleased to hear and believe the usual Easter preaching that “He is Risen!” Death is overcome, our sins are forgiven. “Believe the good news!” From this point on the reason and meaning of the story seems to get lost, not only by the lay people but by many preachers, as they struggle to put into words what cannot be put into words. Here in the West, the day morphs into Easter egg hunts. Very few worshipers will have been open enough to begin to realize just how sacred this story is as sustenance for spiritual growth, as an archetype for life to hang our own lives on, and as a key to heaven which grows wild as a mustard seed throughout the world.
The resurrection of Jesus means much more than just overcoming death. Resurrection begins with the call from the Divine dimension in the human heart that says, “You are my child. I am holy, so you too are holy,” just as Jesus heard as he emerged from the waters of baptism. This inner call identifies us anew. The instant one responds to this text from the heart, that one has experienced a resurrection, a “born again” moment, and some “light” to prepare the eyes of the heart for more. This wonderful news comes with an inherent command and that is, if we are to be holy as God is, we must know God’s character and live out of that character as our own.
Here’s the rub: These holy insights contradict almost everything we have been raised to believe as it pertains to being human, what it means to be related to the Divine, what it means to be great, powerful and successful – and what it means to love. The greatest in the Divine’s Heart are those who give themselves over to faith, hope and unqualified love for everyone; the ones who have laid down their lives for the least of these. Seeing the world through God’s eyes is painful at first. Most importantly, our personal vision of God must be ready to change and grow. The resurrection story’s ultimate destination is the table that God has prepared for those whose love transcends themselves.
The Easter story is Jesus demonstrating to us that the power and meaning of life is reflected in our vocations, our particular callings, the way in which we walk humbly before our God, loving God with our whole being while loving our neighbors in the same manner. Jesus lived his life out of the way in which he saw, “the kingdom of God,” or as the world appears in God’s eyes. He constantly told everyone that we could see it too, just wake up, be born again, take a new look, forget everything we think we know and open our eyes as a child to the kingdom of God that is within and all around us right now. This kingdom is one of quality not quantity, and it is a place in which the power and meaning of life is found while being fully present and awake in each moment, loving all of creation.
To see this dimension, and reflect it in our lives we need help. For Christians, Jesus is that help. In order to see the world through God’s eyes we faithfully follow Jesus to the cross that we may die to our old selves to be raised as new beings in the Spirit. “What has come into being in him was life and the life was the light of all people.” This line from the Gospel of John is a thesis statement concerning the story that follows as a witness to the “life” that is “light resurrected” within each and every one of us eternally.
Peace be with you.
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