The mystery of the death and resurrection of Jesus we celebrate this Triduum is not just another thing we Christians believe. It is the very center of our faith. Everything hinges on it. The stakes are high. Very high.
"If Christ has not been raised, then our proclamation has been in vain and your faith has been in vain...If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins and those who have died in Christ have perished," St. Paul wrote in I Corinthians 15. That's about as stark as it gets.
But, if Jesus is raised, if his death and resurrection offer us abundant life, then we are free to live, free to take a risk and do the things that we believe we should do. If Jesus is raised, this side of death can be a resurrection party because ultimately, we have nothing to fear.
St. Paul goes on, "If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied." He wrote those words to people who were being ostracized and even asked to die for their faith. What fools they are if this life is all there is.
But. . . But, if Jesus is raised from the dead, if what we believe and teach is true, we are free people. Free to take a risk. Free to do something worthwhile, whatever it costs. Free to live the upside down way Jesus taught us.
There is no proof of resurrection. Evidence is hard to find. There is no proof, but there is the promise. The promise that life will win out over death, that we - you and I - shall not die, but live. The promise that the risen Lord lives with us. Now. Here. In our communities, in the meal we share at Christ's table, in the ones counted least by the world. The Risen One is with us now, here, in this life.
There is no proof, but there is the promise, and it is a promise to stake your life on.
- H. Julian Gordy
ELCA Southeastern Synod
Taken with permission from the Blog of the Southeastern Synod of the ELCA.