Rise Up! It’s Easter!
After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. For fear of him, the guards shook and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy and ran to tell his disciples. Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshipped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
Matthew 28:1-10 (NRSV)
INTRODUCTION TO THE LESSON
Easter is about Jesus, but it is also about God, God’s Kingdom, and God’s Vindication. We must ‘rise up’ in our understanding so that the often overlooked and therefore underemphasized themes of the Easter message can serve as catalysts for our personal and collective transformation.
- Easter is a journey. It invites you to be an active participant.
- Easter has many themes, among them are:
- He lives – he is not dead.
- His unwavering commitment to the Kingdom of God and its ideals cost him his life.
- God’s Character – God is Just.
- God reversed Rome’s judgment – God said ‘YES’ to Jesus and ‘No’ to the authorities that executed him.
- God has the final word – Rome’s ‘No’ was not FINAL.
QUOTE TO PONDER
“Great men [and women] are like eagles and build their nest on some lofty solitude.”
“Jesus’ passion was the ‘kingdom of God, and it led him to Jerusalem as the place of confrontation with the domination system of his time, execution, and vindication.”
J. Crossan and M. Borg