The Lord is Risen! He is Risen indeed! Alleluia!
This morning we remember and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus, God’s final and most lasting comment on all that the world offers. The politics was supposed to be over, the threat extinguished, the appeal to the kind of people religious leaders weren’t too keen on having around silenced, the disruption settled into a new calm which would allow religious people to know where it was all at again. No more turning-over of tables in the Temple with an angry shout at those who exploited the poor and ready to believe. No more healing to attract people away from the religious standards set down by Temple leaders. No more crowds being pulled together with the worry of them getting out of control and no more political concern about the man who could muster more support than any other political grouping in those days.
But God wasn’t finished. The final comment had not been made. It was made when some ordinary people went to pay their respects and found the tomb empty. It was made when the disciples who had locked themselves away ran out to check what they were hearing was true. The final comment was made when grave clothes were folded and Jesus spoke to Mary and identified himself to her. The final comment was life and not death. The final comment was a comment made on everything that manipulates, exploits or corrupts for the good of some to the detriment of others. It was a comment for everyone, there is life for everyone and if religious people want to also be Easter people then the comment we have to construct on our world is a comment about life – life for all. It isn’t hard to see the death around us, the dying, the grief, the confusion, the system which permits success and deep-breathing contentment for some but not for others. All around us there are signs of the things Jesus couldn’t tolerate in his life and which God made comment on when God raised Jesus from death to life.
Where I work the comment of life has to be about suicide and loss and the breaking down of life. It has to be about the fracturing of identity and the fractured responses which only shore up a brokenness which may bring some healing to some people but won’t be strategic enough or well-managed enough to make a long-term difference. Across wider society Easter people are challenged to make some stab at leadership when politics cannot hold the diversity it is faced with and when there are attempts to mend fractures, whether those fractures run deep into the past or are newly created.
Easter people have to be with the commentary that is for life, bearing in mind that tables were overturned and people were healed and ordinary people from Galilee and other places too were called to follow the one whom God raised to life.