Last week I wrote on resurrection. I explained, in part, how it operates as the center of the Christian faith, and I ended by pointing to the standard for all resurrections—the Resurrection—the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
In just a few days, on Sunday, all of Christendom will be celebrating Christ’s resurrection. Many people have been looking forward to Easter day for a while (if nothing else but for the end of lent), and there’s even a holiday lead up to the holy day pinnacle with Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday, and Good Friday (and Pentecost fifty days later for good measure).
The prominent position of Easter in the Christian religion should not come as a surprise. As N. T. Wright says,
Christianity began as a resurrection movement. There is no evidence for a form of early Christianity in which the resurrection was not a central belief, as it were, bolted on to Christianity at the edge. It was the central driving force, informing the whole movement. We can see woven into the earliest Christian theology we possess—that of Paul, of course—the belief that the resurrection had in principle occurred and that the followers of Jesus had to reorder their lives, their narratives, their symbols, and their praxis accordingly.
There is nothing more central to the faith, nothing that so transforms the believer. For this reason, resurrection must not only be embraced but rightly understood. If there is no resurrection, then we are of all people most to be pitied; if we are to become celestial harp players, then we are of all people most to be pitied.
As the liturgical year comes to its apex on Easter Sunday, Christians will communally rejoice in our shared hope. And what better feeling is there than that? We have the blessing—the privilege—of looking forward to new life because of the salvific work of Jesus Christ.