The resurrection of Jesus Christ is a pretty big deal. No one expected anything like it. What would you imagine the first thing Jesus would say to those who loved him on that Sunday morning? "Greetings." This the the same way the angel announced to Mary she would have a son! "Greetings." like Spock says dryly during a Star Trek episode, "greetings and salutations." One commentary puts it like this: And look! Jesus met them and said, "Hi!" What an understatement. Sometimes subtlety is the best response to a cataclysmic event.
That Sunday, everything changed but not in the way people think.
The cross was not the last word. The crucifixion was not the act that we would remember forever. The resurrection would change everything and the ministry and message of Jesus would go on. However, on that Sunday, the lives of the followers of Jesus did not get safer. Life became even more dangerous. Jesus’ followers and many others believed he was the Messiah that would overthrow the Roman government and usher in God’s kingdom. But Jesus died. Disappointing some and pleasing others. News of the resurrection reached the Roman officials and Jewish leaders who probably got their first good night's sleep since Jesus came onto the scene. Imagine their disbelief, rage and consternation upon hearing the resurrection news.
What got released on Sunday was not a message of comfort but a profound message of hope. Things would go on but following Jesus would be anything but comfortable. The resurrection confirmed there IS something on the other side but we may not always understand it. Jesus' followers would gather as a new community to tell and retell the resurrection story maybe for their own benefit but now thankfully for our benefit too. Jesus gave the command to pick up our crosses daily and follow him. I think dying is the easy part. Living as followers of the resurrected Jesus is a dangerous, open-ended thing. Hope has a power all its own.
Jesus had the last word. Nothing fancy, super-religious or theological. I think it's kind of unexpected and true to Jesus' form. He didn't have a big stage. All he said was, "Hi." Sometimes subtlety is the best response.
He is risen! Happy Easter.