Christ is Risen. Alleluia, Alleluia!
The Church’s ancient proclamation captures the joy and the excitement of this day. But make no mistake, the Resurrection is not some sort of clap-happy event, a happy ending to an otherwise sad and bitter tale. No. The joy and the excitement of Easter are born out of the Passion and Death of Christ. No Passion, no Resurrection. No Good Friday, no Easter day. The intensity of the Passion gives rise to the joyfulness of the Resurrection.
The Resurrection is a bodily event. But it gives rise to a new understanding of everything. There is, we might say, a resurrection of the understanding. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead is, as I am fond of saying, radical new life. Radical is the right word, actually. It refers to the root of things, the radix. The Resurrection goes to the root of all life itself. That root is the reciprocal love of the Son for the Father in the bond of the Holy Spirit.
The God who creates ex nihilo – out of nothing – recreates out of the greater nothingness of sin and death. The Cross has made visible that greater nothingness. The full force of sin and evil are revealed in the crucified Christ. The greater nothingness is the vanity of our wills as against everything that is good – against one another in the human community, against the good order of creation, and against God himself. But the Cross has also made visible the far greater love of God both for us and in itself.
If the message of Good Friday is that God is dead, then the message of Easter is that death is conquered, death is dead. “Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more;/death hath no more dominion over him.” Christ is risen from the dead never to die again. The meaning of death itself is changed. The tomb is not only empty; it has become the womb of new life. The unending life of the Resurrection is accomplished in and through the darkness of death. Christ is Risen!