Posted by Michael
I can not imagine anything more awful than being imprisoned on death row. What would it be like to wake up every day and know that you are simply waiting to die? Pacing the six or seven steps across your cell and then back again has to feel claustrophobic and smothering. The stale yellow light that bathes everything ensures that the nightmare of being awake feels just like the nightmares that come with sleep. Passing each day alone with your guilt, your view would never change. Same walls, same bars, same hopelessness.
Suppose, against all odds, the warden visits one day with news that your crimes have been taken away and you are to be free.” It’s not that we were mistaken about you”, he explains, “your guilt has never been questioned. The court has chosen to forgive your guilt and grant you your freedom. The second you step away from the prison your record will be clean, your life can have a new beginning.” Imagine now, waking up the next morning, in your own bed, with your own clean sheets. Death no longer hangs over you. You roll out of bed, walk to your door and open it just as streaks of auburn light are coloring the dawn sky. As you step out onto the cold bricks, the frigid wind slaps your skin and fills your lungs, you don’t feel alarmed however, you feel alive. You are free to go anywhere, do anything. Every moment matters, and you want to fill each one with meaning, purpose, and joy.
This is as close as I can come to what resurrection means for Christians. It means that our death deserving crimes can be forgiven, that we can be given a fresh start. We no longer have to pace about in the small and petty worlds we have created for ourselves. We wake up with hope and purpose. It means that something wonderful can happen in the future (heaven after death), but it means even more for the here and now. We are alive, and are free to bring that life and love to a world in need. Humans were never meant to live without hope. The story of Easter is our hope that there is more to our story than initially seemed possible.