NewburyportNews.com, Newburyport, MA

Local News

May 10, 2014

The mystery of Easter

Recently I got to give a ride to one of our college students, a freshman engineering major, and we shared our love for the precision and finality of math. You do the problem, finish the problem, check your answer and it is either correct or not. No ambiguity. We both liked those math problems with their defined answers and/but with any others that are seeking to let Jesus shape and define their lives, we get the mystery of Easter.

In the Christian tradition Easter is the definitive holy day. It starts with an empty tomb. There was not a tablet there with a note that gave details about what/where/why/when/how. There was an empty tomb where Jesus’ body should have been. He had been killed. Brutally. Violently. This man of God, of compassion, peacemaking, inclusion was too much for the people in power. Jesus threatened their way of life. They didn’t want to cede power. They didn’t want to share wealth. They flexed their muscles and nailed Jesus to a cross. That was how they kept order in their world. Jesus was executed and hastily put in a tomb.

But that isn’t the end of the story. God is not through. Love is not conquered. Love cannot and is not contained in a tomb. It all changes. Dramatically. And we are invited be shaped by that change. There are eight stories in the Bible about what that looks like. Each of them different. None of them a math book kind of description.

In the story from Matthew the earth quakes, the stone rolls away and an angel appears. That doesn’t happen in math books. It happens in life, though. That’s what God does and offers. When everything seems to be over, when death has taken hold, when all possibilities have been exhausted and despair is gripping deep — God offers new life, transformed life, resurrected life. Women came to dress a dead body and were enveloped in a new story.

Text Only | Photo Reprints

Port Pics
AP Video
Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase Obama Seeks Limits on US Company Mergers Abroad Large Family to Share NJ Lottery Winnings U.S. Flights to Israel Resume After Ban Lifted Official: Air Algerie Flight 'probably Crashed' TSA Administrator on Politics and Flight Bans Raw: National Guard Helps Battle WA Wildfires Raw: Ukraine's Donetsk Residents Flee Senators Push to End Hamas Threat in Cease-Fire A Young Victim's Premonition, Hug Before MH17 Raw: Deadly Storm Hits Virginia Campground Death Penalty Expert: 'This is a Turning Point' Raw: MH17 Victim's Bodies Arrive in Netherlands
Special Features