From the editor: May 02, 2014

Christ is Risen!

Beyond Lazarus

Christos anesti! Alethos anesti! Christ is risen! Truly He is risen! So goes the traditional Easter season greeting and response in Greek and English. It is a article of faith, one not as easily grasped as we might think.

Indeed, any reading of the Gospel accounts of the disciples encounters with the risen Christ reveals a persistent theme of doubt and unbelief—Thomas is the most notorious doubter, but he doubted the testimony of others, not what he saw with his own eyes. The doubt I am speaking of is that of the others, such as mentioned by Matthew on the mountain.

It is clear that something extraordinary—let us say supernatural—had occurred. Jesus had not simply traveled the miraculous path of Lazarus back from death. He went into death and more than returned or passed through it, he conquered it! His body was transfigured, and he became the first born of a new creation, a New Adam. This might explain the persistent theme of non-recognition of Jesus by others—Mary Magdalene, Cleopas and Luke (?), Peter and the others in the boat.

Another theme is that of Jesus' response to their doubts, their not "getting it." He "upbraids" them; challenges their faith on the road to Emmaus—"foolish men! Slow of heart! "Why do questionings arise in your hearts?"

The raising of Lazarus showed that Jesus could confront death; His own Resurrection demonstrated that He had in fact destroyed the power of death, "trampling down death by death."

It takes work, faith, and grace to grasp the Resurrection so that it changes the way we live today, so that it marks our lives in such a way that the light of the Resurrection shines through us to others, including those who hate us. Easter is the "day which The Lord has made." We can rejoice in it because The Lord also comes saying, "Peace be to you!" He gives us the grace and power to be such witnesses. We can say to the whole world, "He is risen indeed!"

Yours for Christ, Creed & Culture,

—James M. Kushiner