Today is Easter Sunday, also called resurrection Sunday. It’s the most holy day in the Christian calendar. A day that has nothing to do with chocolate eggs or bunnies. Rather, a day that cataclysmically altered the history of humanity. To understand why we need to know the story, and where it begins and ends is in a most unexpected place—a garden.
The past week’s events included Palm Sunday, the week up to Good Friday (the night Jesus was betrayed), and today’s resurrection Sunday. It was in the garden of Gethsemane where Jesus went off to pray by himself, feeling alone and distraught over the magnitude of his mission. It was in a garden where he went for the evening prayer with a choice few disciples the night he was arrested. And it was in a garden where Mary, visiting the tomb with no knowledge that Jesus had risen, mistook him as a gardener.
Jesus the gardener….
The significance is compelling because it humanizes God’s connection to you and I. Jesus becomes the gardener tilling parched soil to produce verdant life. This stands in stark contrast to most of the religious views of “why” Jesus.
“Jesus is NOT a conductor punching tickets for a train ride to heaven. Christian hope is not so much about getting from earth to heaven, as it is about getting heaven to earth.
Jesus is NOT a lawyer to get us out of a legal jam with his angry dad. God is not mad at sinners. Jesus told Mary to tell his disciples that his Father was their Father too!
Jesus is NOT a banker making loans of his surplus righteousness. Modern people love economic metaphors…but they are terrible! Economic metaphors invariably produce bad theology.”
What makes Easter Sunday so significant has to do with our own parched soil. A great disconnect has been solved for you and I, and for the entirety of creation. Let’s go back to the story again to discover more, let’s go back to the fateful Friday eve.
On the cross groans Jesus as he takes his final breaths. It is told that the moment he died the sun was blotted out from the sky, and down the hill in the temple a massive veil was torn in two.
The temple represented the relationships between God and the. It was through religious services and rites of passages where once a year the most holy of priests could enter the room and be close to God. Jesus comes to upturn this religious system, tearing the veil of separation, and triumphantly creates a better relationship for us to connect with. There is a new temple—our own bodies—where we can chose to invite God’s presence within and be made new.
The triumphs continue. The resurrection is the mystery and miracle that death can be beaten. It’s here that all of the trash in our lives and in the world have been taken, and BEATEN.
Jesus beats death—the greatest disconnect we face. Resurrection Sunday is the ultimate CONFIRMATION that anything and everything that holds you back from making you you is no longer in the way. A new option, a new way, a new LIFE has been offered.
This new life, tied to the story of Easter, is presented to you as an invitation by the gardener offering the fulness of life beyond anything you could imagine for today and ever more.