Easter belief explains why the funerals of the El Salvadoran martyrs were punctuated with applause and cries of “resurrexit!” Our belief in resurrection releases us from all that drains, demeans and dehumanizes, liberating us into the glorious freedom of God’s children.
Mark’s original ending to the Easter story sounds so disheartening that later editors added a more upbeat conclusion. He wrote of women who “were terrified so they said nothing to anyone” (16:8). Rather than a “klunker,” that may be an invitation. WE must continue the story. As Dom Helder Camara of Brazil wrote, “We Christians have no right to forget that we are not born to die; we are born to live. We must hold on to hope…since we have the deep certainty of being born for Easter.”
News this good is best expressed in song. Some of the finest Easter music is Handel’s “Messiah.” Imagine a dynamic gospel choir, clothed in red robes. They sway, they clap, they sing full-throated. The orchestra adds brass, drums and strings to energize the alleluias. It’s traditional for the audience to stand for the Alleluia chorus, in tribute to a splendid expression of the human spirit. On tiptoe, they applaud so intensely that the air rings with the clapping. It is a splendid image for the best news we could ever hear: “He is not here, but he has been raised.”