I want to wish everyone a very happy Easter. As I think about Easter, I remember the Easter Liturgy I attended in 1999 at St. Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral in Dallas. A chorus that was repeated several times was “Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and on those in the tombs bestowing life!” I love the expression “trampling down death by death” because it tells us that the death of Christ destroyed death, and His resurrection is the proof of that.
Now in this pandemic, the headlines each day give us the latest COVID-19 infection and death count, and the topic on many people’s minds is the saving of lives. While the saving of lives is good and important, we must still remember that we will all die someday, whether from COVID-19 or something else, and while we should applaud the hard work done by all those fighting this virus, we should realize that something permanent is needed. It is this permanent solution to the problem of death that we celebrate at Easter.
Of course, we still see people dying, so there are those that think that Jesus accomplished nothing, and the Christians celebrating Easter are deluded. Such thought comes from seeing this present life as all there is. Easter joy comes from the fact that the death we experience in this life is not the end. Jesus reconciled us to God, forgiving our sins, and if we die in friendship with God, death in this life is the beginning of a new life that will never end. Therefore, I urge us all to be reconciled to God and to know the Easter joy that we celebrate today.