Sometimes when I wonder at the scriptures of the resurrection, asking the questions and experiencing the doubts that people have voiced since the extraordinary events of that long-ago weekend, I find it helpful to come at it all from another direction.
Let’s start at something wonderful that we do most certainly know. Sometime in the dark hours between sunset on the Friday of Jesus’ execution and the dawn of the following Sunday morning, something happened that utterly transformed a small community of men and women. From being traumatized by grief, their most heartfelt hopes and trust brutally destroyed by unimaginable cruelty and suffering, they became a community bound together by bonds of energy and commitment that withstood every effort to defeat them.
As years became decades and decades centuries, even millennia, when asked for the source of their loyalty and commitment, they would reply with a statement that is uttered to this day in many languages. They would say “Jesus Christ is risen.”
On each Sunday of this Easter season in the year of our Lord 2022, these words will have been voiced in churches across Ukrainian cities, towns and villages. Many of those who uttered these will have been women who reach for the sacred bread of Eucharist with one hand while hugging a small child to their bodies with the other, not knowing whether they or those whom they love have hours or days to live.
I find that knowing this helps me to join my voice to theirs, saying the words “Jesus Christ is risen” without questions or doubts.