“Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died.* (1 Corinthians 15:20)
St. Paul seldom leaves the message at the level of “believe this fact about Jesus.” He always moves it to “this is what it says about you!” or “this is what it says about history!” Until we are ourselves pulled into the equation, we find it hard to invest ourselves in a distant religious belief.
Paul normally speaks of “Christ”—which includes us and all of creation—for he never knew Jesus “in the flesh” but only as the eternal Body of Christ. Christ Crucified is all of the hidden, private, tragic pain of history made public and given over to God. Christ Resurrected is all suffering received, loved, and transformed by an All-Caring God. How else could we have any kind of cosmic hope? How else would we not die of sadness for what humanity has done to itself and to one another?
The cross is the standing statement of what we do to one another and to ourselves. The resurrection is the standing statement of what God does to us in return. Today really is our big feast day!
Richard Rohr, Easter 2012