Eliot gracefully captured the message of Easter when he wrote “The Dead is not Dead” Death could not annihilate Jesus, His life was bigger than death. D. H. Lawrence brings home this fact when wrote that we are falling into a great chasm which is death but Jesus alone stooped into it, came back and spoke about it. Even after the ferocious onslaught of death on him, he remains. he remains because he was not there! He was already distributed, his powers, dreams, miracles, stories, body and blood, everything was shared and gave up. How can death kill such a man? Every time when death devoured someone , it was justified. But for the first time, death became a culprit by killing him who no way deserves death. Jesus tricked death to attack him at its own peril. Ultimately death died drinking a poison called Jesus. Jesus trampled death by death. Resurrection is Jesus’ cheating of death.
According to Peter Berger, the three Aramaic sentences that were transported into the Greek text of the New Testament contain the entire message of the Gospels. The first are words spoken by Jesus as he raised from the dead the twelve year old daughter of Jairus: “Talitha, cumi, “Little girl arise” (Mark 5:41) The second are words spoken by Jesus from the cross: “Eli, eli lama sabachtani?”, “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me” (Mathew 27:46) And the third is the conclusion of the last book of the New Testament: “Maranatha”, “Come, Lord” or possibly, “Lord is coming”. These sentences comprise everything that Gospels want to tell us: With Christ an immensely powerful process of redemption has been released into the world. In Christ’s suffering and death on the Cross, at the extreme point of God’s humiliation, God both shares all the pain of creation and inaugurates its repair. And Christ will return as victor and restore creation to the glory for which God intended it.
Still resurrection is not a comforting event. It conceals some dangers or threatening premonitions!Its danger is that it can easily escape from us. Another danger concerns the name of the Resurrected Lord. Mary comes to the tomb of Jesus crying “Rabbi, Rabbi”. Why she came to the tomb at this hour? Perhaps she could not believe in the death of her Lord. Nobody believes in the death of her loved one. She believes that such a man who is full of love and God can never die. It is to such believe that Jesus rises up. But she could not recognise him, she supposed that he is a Gardener and asks “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have laid him, and I will take him away” Jesus said to her, “Mary.” She turned and calls him, “Rabboni”. Thus resurrection becomes a call and call back.
In the second episode we see two disciples are going to Emmaus, and a resurrected Lord is joining them as a third man and he asks “What are you talking about as you walk, and are sad?”. One of them named Cleopas, answered him, “Are you the only stranger in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things which have happened in these days?”
So who is resurrected Lord? He is either a gardener or a stranger! Which means that the resurrection has not made him more God but more man to the extent that his own friends could not recognise him. Our Easter celebrations and liturgies somehow miss this point. We make a conscious effort to make him more Godly and divine. But resurrected lord is human and too human.
This episode also tells us that resurrection is an invitation to strangeness. The Lord abides in a stranger. He may nt look anything we usually associate with him. He may not stand out in a crowed. So we have to treat every stranger as Him. So “when you did for least of these you did it for me”.
Resurrection is against sensationalism. The resurrected jesus is very ordinary. It calls us to pay attention to the ordinariness of life. We should be flooded with when we see that a white flower is white. Bonhoeffer wrote that “the belief in resurrection is not a solution for the problems with death” He is reminding our christian duty to continue the fight of Jesus against death and its adversaries. We should not lose ourselves in the astonishment of resurrection.