Let me be honest.
I know the story.
I have heard it and read it my entire life.
But even with that being the case, I don’t really know what happened.
I don’t know what happened early that morning at the tomb.
Or. later that day on the road to Emmaus.
Or, sometime after that in that room somewhere in Jerusalem where, after watching Jesus be tortured and then executed, most of the disciples hid in fear.
Or, even later still when the disciples were back home and back on the lake fishing.
I don’t know what happened.
Or, how it happened.
I don’t know what caused the women to suddenly recognize Jesus when they had not known him a moment before. Or, how Cleopas and his friend could walk with Jesus for a couple of hours and not know to whom they were speaking, and then suddenly recognize him. I don’t know what it was that eventually convinced those scared to death disciples to unlock the door and to step out into a still scary world and begin to do what they had seen Jesus do especially when they knew that what they were doing is what had gotten Jesus killed.
I don’t know what happened or how it happened, but something happened.
Something which the Christian community describes as resurrection which is something different and something more than just resuscitation and which, with experience and over time, led and leads to the Easter affirmation of Christ alive.
The stories are far more than just made up tales or wishful thinking.
At it’s deepest and best, resurrection makes the startling affirmation that love wins.
That all that is of God – love and light and life itself – along with the best of what we can imagine for ourselves and for those whom we love and for the world entrusted now to our care and keeping… all that will ultimately prevail.
Easter, in a sentence, declares that the last and truest words are not hatred and injustice and death which we have heard so often before and which the world around us does its best to make us believe. But, believe it or not, the last and truest words are love and justice and life.
Paul Alcorn is the Pastor at Bedford Presbyterian Church in Bedford Village, NY.