Easter, a celebration of vibrant hope

Easter celebrates the vibrant hope for every individual and for the entire world.

It is also a warning to every evil power that preys on humankind – a warning that truth is again coming out of its tomb.

Easter is a ringing reminder that the human spirit cannot be confined.

Christianity is primarily a religion of the dawn – a religion that addresses itself not to the dead past and its failures, but to the vibrant future and its possibilities.

Faith does not rest on the fact that two thousand years ago, a man, Christ, was crucified, buried and then miraculously walked out of his tomb alive.

It rests rather on the evidence that He is, as He said: “Alive for evermore,” through the words he has spoken.

What is history but the record of the triumph of human hope? Ours is only the new chapter in an ever-continuing story of the eventual emergence of good over evil.

If Easter says anything of importance to us today, it is this: “We can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there.We can nail it to a cross, wrap it in winding sheets and shut it up in a tomb, but it will arise.”

There is something familiar about the account of Pontius Pilate unloosing the forces, which crucified Christ, and attempted to shut him away in a tomb.

It has happened in every age. Standing there before Pilate, who had the might of the Roman Empire behind him, Jesus could be said to cut a sorry figure.

Yet, soon all the Caesars and their legions crumbled, while “the pale Galilean” kept coming on, living ever anew in the world’s heart.

The world’s tyrants, to their ultimate undoing, have always misunderstood the mightiest of all forces – Faith.

An eminent theologian once said: “Eternal truth is eternal. It can be distorted but not destroyed. It may have to carry a cross or drink a cup of hemlock in Grecian gaol. But after every black Friday there dawns an Easter morn.”

Christ turned the world’s accepted standards upside down.

It was the poor, not the rich, who were blessed; the weak, not the strong, who were to be esteemed; the pure in heart, not the sophisticated and the worldly, who understood what life was about.

Righteousness, not power or money or sensual pleasure should be man’s pursuit. We should love our enemies, bless them that curse us, do good to them that hate us, and pray for them that despitefully use us, in order that we may be worthy members of a human family.

What Christ had to say was too simple to be grasped, too truthful to be believed. So the great majority of Christians have never been able to believe when Christ said the whole duty of man resolved itself into loving God and his neighbour.

And furthermore, there is the question of who is our neighbour.

In Christ’s estimation, our neighbour is everyone. He said: Feed my sheep – all, black, white and piebald. Hindu, Muslim, Christian.

Dalit and Brahmin.

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