Easter: Experiencing the Resurrection
Jesus is Risen! We reflect on the promise of Easter, the experience of the Resurrection, and the invitations for our lives.
It is reasonable to assume—given our familiarity with how the Gospel stories conclude—that we readily anticipate and celebrate the resurrection, turning our eyes expectantly toward the empty tomb, proclaiming, "Jesus is risen!" And yet in many ways, like the individuals 2,000 years ago, we too do not expect resurrection. We too need to experience Jesus’ resurrection for our lives and communities today.
In a fraught, broken world, filled with anxiety, it is easy for Easter to feel like a brief reprieve; a chance to gather together and spend the day imagining a better world that we ultimately do not believe is possible. But the promise of Easter is the actual—spiritual, physical, emotional—assurance of renewal and restoration; it is the promise of literal resurrection. We are invited to embrace this promise, and then participate within it: to work towards unification, celebrate beauty, practice gratitude, be a gift to others, and live out hope. In doing so, the promise of Easter is not confined to a single day; it is a posture towards life to experience, participate, give, and receive “resurrection” on a daily basis.
While we may be quick to interpret this promise on an individual level, the resurrection experience is not meant to just be lived out by ourselves, but in community. Through the gift of Easter, Jesus brings us out from behind the shadow of the grave and into a more full, harmonious vision for all of humanity. A life in which all of creation is brought together by love—celebrating our diversity and interweaved by God. Acts 2 provides the bedrock for how these communities are experienced:
“And all the believers met together in one place and shared everything they had. They sold their property and possessions and shared the money with those in need. They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people.”
Easter is an invitation to celebrate the triumphs of the resurrection, and then live it out together as a collective humanity.
Ultimately, these realities of Easter are brought forth by the supremacy of love. Ephesians 2:4-5 exclaims:
“God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead.”
The wonder and mystery of Easter are in its association with love: the gift of the resurrection happens because of Jesus’ great affection for humanity, an affection intended to be unwrapped and experienced in the here and now. May this Easter be a time of restoration and resurrection for all of creation—with ourselves, with each other, and with God. Amen.
- Reflection Questions:
In trying times, it may be difficult to embrace the “resurrection” promises of Easter. How might you ask God to generate a more optimistic, hopeful experience of living?
- How can we live into Easter’s assurance of restoration and renewal as a daily practice, in our lives, and in our communities?
Written by: Emma Tweitmann
Photography: Bryan Ye-Chung