Mark’s ending points to a truth that often gets lost in the celebration: Easter is a frightening prospect. For the women, the only thing more terrifying than a world with Jesus dead was one in which he was alive.
We know what to do with grief and despair. We have a place for it. We have rituals that surround it. I know how to look around at the anti-Black racism, the anti-Asian racism, the struggles of families at the border and feel despair. I know what it’s like to watch the body count rise after a mass shooting, only to have the country collectively shrug because we are too addicted to our guns and our violence.
I know how to feel when I look to some in the church for help, only to have my faith questioned because I see in biblical texts a version of social justice that I find compelling. I put it all in the tomb that contains my dead hopes and dreams for what the church and country could be. I am left with only tears.
Hope is much harder to come by. The women did not go to the tomb looking for hope. They were searching for a place to grieve. They wanted to be left alone in despair. The terrifying prospect of Easter is that God called these women to return to the same world that crucified Jesus with a very dangerous gift: hope in the power of God, the unending reservoir of forgiveness and an abundance of love. It would make them seem like fools. Who could believe such a thing?
Christians, at their best, are the fools who dare believe in God’s power to call dead things to life. That is the testimony of the Black church….
“Easter is a frightening prospect. For the women, the only thing more terrifying than a world with Jesus dead was one in which he was alive.”@esaumccaulley
The Unsettling Power of Easter https://t.co/nlysWAndlo
— Beth Allison Barr, PhD (@bethallisonbarr) April 2, 2021