We live in a world of anxiety and anticipation, a world of death, taxes, disease, unemployment, and poverty. But, it is also a world of enjoyment, comfort, peace, family, and beauty. We live hoping for something better, but half-expecting the worst. We live a suspenseful existence.
All of us wait, like the disciples did on that Saturday nearly two millennia ago, for something we have a vague idea about, but we know for sure has not come yet. Those few men and women who had walked and talked and shared meals with Jesus were so certain that He would be the salvation and release they had been longing for. But, on that Saturday, Jesus was dead–and so was most of their hope.
That Saturday is repeated every day now for the billions of us who are waiting for something else. We think it is a better job, a solid house, a nicer car, or a long vacation. And, it is, in a sense, because the something we wait for is a better life. But, the job comes, we sign the mortgage papers on the new house, and there is still more to wait for. So, we live in the suspense of failing health and always new but always deteriorating vehicles.
But, despite the inevitability of death, disease, and corrosion, most people still persist in maintaining at least a vague hope for something better. Most people know in their core that this anxious survival is not the way things should be, that our existence was not meant to be wasted away in redundant waiting. We know we were meant to live.
The resurrection of Jesus affirms what we have already been guessing at. He walked right into the room where the disciples had gathered to wait, their retreat into anxiety and failed dreams. The dead prophet became their living Messiah as He gave them what they had been hoping for. They touched His wounds and saw Him eat fish, and they experienced that there was something better, after all.
Now here we are living our Saturday existence, waiting and longing, suffering and mourning, and only occasionally glimpsing the shadows of the joy and contentment of true Life. But, we are much better off because Jesus already rose. He already proved that death is powerless, and that the downward spiral of disease and decay and injustice can be utterly reversed. It is just a matter of time until resurrection overtakes us all.
So we wait. Or, rather, we hope. Because God will set things right, will fix all of our problems, and will lift us out of the grave. And that is what Easter is all about.