It is difficult to capture the miracle of the Resurrection.
On the one hand, we all experience it every day, arising from our sleep. On the other, none but a small child believes he goes to sleep for the last time when he lays down his head. (Is it a terror of existential darkness that causes young children to avoid bedtime?)
The finality of death is a cleft in the mind, the pit into which all fall and none recover. What one makes of this creates a divide, while there is no division about waking up each morning.
What happens after we die? Many guesses.
Whether death is an end, whether it just is the observed failure of the body to persist, whether it is the excising of a very particular person and presence from the world in the way she was commonly known? Yes, no one argues this.
Put it this way: Say you believe a loved one lives on, and well he might. Now you observe him in little signs, a serendipitous word from a stranger, a rare species of flower where one does not ordinarily find it, an annoying thing he always did that comforts you now. Here is the test: Would you rather have these little signs for another 10 years, or one more day with him, in his fullness?
Death forces your hand, leaves you the scraps when you crave the feast. It is a savage compromise, but that is the Universe we are in.
So much for the true and severe loss of death.
Now Good Friday is the collapse, the utter devastation and lifeless plummet into the pit. It is the heavy-weight fight, the clash of Titans – Life vs. Death. And Life, as expected (though recklessly hoped against) staggers and falls from unimaginable height to unimaginable depth.
One loses his breath. Of course he does – he watches the Source of that breath, breathing His last. He goes under, lost, never to return.
Easter Sunday is the unfathomable resurgence, the great inhale, the impossible gasp. It is the cure of all depression, it is cause for an old man to leap to his feet and run like a child, it is fire and purpose to
accept, stare down, … praise God for a torturous death.
Or become child-like again. If the night brings terrors, what does the day bring? What irrepressible joy comes with the dawn of a new sun? What verve of anticipation passes through your bones just to think of Christmas morning? (And why Christmas morning, and no other?)
Run, and never grow weary.
Easter is our great Hero finding the bottom of a bottomless pit. It is saving the souls of the irredeemably lost.
It is slipping into darkness, clawing to stay awake, alive…the sheer terror of all joy, all love, all of everything being ripped away…
…and then you wake up, and there are no more tears, and all you know is love and joy and the thrill of existence.
See – It is death that is impossible. You will live.