Easter weekend always reminds me of just how absurd Christianity must sound to the outside world.
This whole group of people believe this one man at this one point in history wasn’t just a man—He was also God. Crazier still, we believe he was murdered at the hands of one of the most powerful civilizations, was buried, then rose again. Like. Stood up. Walked around. Ate some meals. If you’re a Christian, you have to understand how absolutely bonkers that must sound.
Or maybe it doesn’t sound so crazy any more. We live in a time of heart monitors and life support, and people who spend years in a coma only to wake up again. People have “died on the table” and been brought back to life. So what’s the big deal if a man that was dead came back to life? What’s so radical about resurrection?
I’ve been thinking about this question a lot today. This is the day, more than 2000 years ago, that Jesus was executed as a criminal. A rebel. He was whipped. Stripped naked. Cut. Beaten. Nailed to a piece of wood, and displayed like a piece of raw meat for the rest of the Jewish nation to look upon as an example of what would happen if you called yourself King. He died.
And what would have happened if he had stayed dead?
If He stayed dead, the Romans would have won.
If He stayed dead, the Jewish Pharisees would have felt thirty pieces of silver was money well spent to keep their power.
If He stayed dead, he lied.
If He stayed dead, the Disciples would have fled, knowing they’d been duped in the longest Con ever recorded.
If He stayed dead, the only hope we have is in the goodness of each other.
If He stayed dead, the only fear we have is of the evil in each other.
If He stayed dead, the only love we have is what we can manufacture.
If He stayed dead, the only pleasure we have is what we can hoard for ourselves.
If He stayed dead, joy in life is tied to our circumstances.
If He stayed dead, there is no reason to deny our base desires, because this life is all there is, there is nothing to come. Why not do what I want?
If He stayed dead, there is no bigger plan. We are on a deserted island in the middle of a vast Universe with no one coming to save us.
If He stayed dead, suffering wins.
If He stayed dead, so will we.