The Victory is won
It is impossible to escape the news of violence. People are harming each other mentally and physically. Words hurt. Weapons kill. Angry words risk becoming acts of violence, as we’ve seen since Russia launched its war of aggression against Ukraine, and as is happening in many conflicts elsewhere in the world. Anger’s logic awakens us again and again to the dark side of human nature.
The season of fasting before Easter alerts us to people’s tendency to harm each other. Jesus became too much of a problem for those in power. Public sentiment, distorted by lies, finally erupted in the cry: “Crucify him!” The message of love, reconciliation and peace didn’t fit the worldview that those rulers wanted to prevail.
Holy Week’s story of Jesus the victim of jealousy and violence is tinged with darkness. However, that darkness isn’t where the story ends. The Easter news of Jesus’s resurrection sheds new light on violence and hatred. Death doesn’t have the last word. The promise of the empty tomb is that life overcomes death, light banishes darkness, and good is stronger than evil. Easter proclaims God’s faithfulness and love.
Holy Week and the Easter that follows it aptly mirror the great questions of human life. Suffering cannot always be avoided, and not everything in life happens as we’d like. Nevertheless, the human mind persists in holding on to hope and trust in a brighter future. A brighter future is precisely what Easter encourages us to look forward to and work for.
The angel’s words of encouragement to the women arriving at the tomb of Jesus remain relevant today: “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.” (Matt. 28:5–6)
Christ is risen from the dead!
I wish you a joyful Easter!
The Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland