Today is the day when we celebrate the fact that someone has risen from the dead. Or we eat lots of chocolate. Or both. And whether you believe it actually happened or not, it is genuinely kind of crazy - that millions of people around the world stop what they are doing and worship an event that changed the world as we know it…because one man, over 2000 years ago, was tortured and died and then came back to life. You might think it’s the world’s greatest conspiracy theory, you might think it’s a load of rubbish…but you can’t deny that history hasn’t been the same since.
And I also think that the significance behind the day is worth considering. This week the world has been faced with yet another tragedy, and yet more families are spending the day wading through their own personal nightmares. More images are disseminated through the media: images of blood, and tears, and evil. We are bombarded with more of the same rhetoric: of war, and conflict, and despair. Our hearts swell with sadness for our fellow humans, and yet we are powerless to alter. Instead, there seems to be an inevitable wait for the next instance of darkness.
And that is what it was like on Good Friday too. Someone’s son, someone’s leader, someone’s best friend - the man who they had pinned all their hopes on, the man who they loved like no other - died with incomparable cruelty. In fact, much like we watched events unfold, his friends and family watched it too. They watched as his legs were broken. They watched as he was ridiculed. They watched as he cried out to God. Their hearts must have swelled with sadness, and yet they were powerless to alter. There must have been an inevitable wait for the darkness.
Now I’m well aware that for many readers of dott, this must be like comparing this week’s news to a fairytale. Because, of course, it’s pretty rational to believe that people can’t come back from the dead. But that’s not my point. It is historically certain that a man called Jesus, a man who many respected and loved, was tortured and killed. And it’s historically certain that, whether you believe he rose from the dead or not, from this darkness rose a hope that has changed the world since. And that is what is quite remarkable.
Because what we celebrate on Easter Sunday is that darkness and evil is not the end. When Christians celebrate a man who came back to life, they celebrate that however hopeless the circumstance, and however horrific the tragedy, there is always the possibility for love and goodness to prevail. For them, this means having a relationship with God. But for those who don’t believe in any of this, I think the sentiment is just as poignant. Whatever we think, we can all remember that darkness does not need to overcome us. Amongst the deepest darkness, light can still shine.
Author: Vicky Noble