HE IS RISEN FROM THE DEAD
A simple message from the angels changed everything. The women had come to the tomb after the burial of Jesus. The weight of the previous days’ dark events was oppressive. But nothing was the same after the angels’ message. The resurrection of Jesus upended the disciples’ lives first. Little by little, its influence began to grow in the Roman Empire. Finally, the message of Christ’s resurrection was heard all over the world. On Easter morning the belief in the conquering of death was born.
The resurrection of Jesus changed the meaning of things. One such change was to do with the cross. An instrument of violence, scorn and death became a sign of life, hope and love. Wherever the cross is found – on church towers and altars, on tombstones, on necklaces, on tattoos – we are reminded of a power that death and evil cannot constrain.
As a sign of the resurrection, the connection of the cross to its origin has not been lost. It does not cheaply explain away suffering, violence and death. These things constantly plague humanity, as we are painfully reminded by the current world situation.
However, the cross is a promise that suffering, violence and death will not have the last word. Life, hope and love are more powerful. That is why the cross is a unique sign and is a strong confession of faith. The resurrection of Jesus illuminates the present moment and the future. Wherever we see the cross, it reminds us that “He is risen from the dead” (John 24:6).
I wish you a blessed journey towards the Easter light!
Archbishop Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland