THE TRUE SIGNIFICANCE OF EASTER
Whether you believe that Jesus died on a Wednesday or Thursday and was reborn 3 days later on Saturday or on Easter Sunday is irrelevant to the overall power of the message this phenomenon is intended to convey. An obsession with historical accuracy will yield no fruit here as there simply were no convenient birth or death certificates then and no contemporary documents exist today from contemporary historians who might have captured the event. 2000 years ago media was quite different from the virtual documentation to which we are used. As we all know the matter of Jesus Christ’s existence and resurrection is one which must rely solely on humble faith.
Having the ability to come back fully revived from formidable adversity seems to be the theme of Christ’s resurrection. This of course was powerful medicine to Christians 2,000 years ago. Like Black Americans, early Christians were violently persecuted by the government beneath which they had become subjected to. So the murder and unexpected resurrection of their chosen leader would have the impact of a beloved civil rights leader Such as Martin Luther King surviving his assassination. According to legend Jesus did overcome death as a physical man. The civil rights leader Martin Luther King did not duplicate this uber-heroic feat. O how times have changed.
The early Christians were horribly oppressed, tortured, murdered and raped by the ancient Romans who considered these abuses an entertaining sport similar to the way black men have been lynched as a national American sport. To these sociopathic oppressors then and now the spirt of human murder was a final and politically charged practise. The outcome had always been predictable but Jesus’s extraordinary resurrection struck a fatal blow to the Roman Empire precipitating its total conversion to Christendom as the Holy Roman Empire in Constantinople. The irony and power of this single event literally changed the course of human history and cannot therefore be ignored in spite of the lack of empirical evidence to support it.
Whether or not Jesus Christ truly existed and rose from the dead the story of his assassination originally intended to subdue the Christians prophetically backfired on Rome. Instead of silencing a troublesome civil rights leader Rome decreed its own death by murdering that charismatic figure. For he was not destined to be buried and forgotten, instead Jesus’ brief, troubled but brilliant life has been preserved in history for over 2,000 years. Not bad for the son of Mary and Joseph a simple craftsman eeking out a living in the difficult economy of ancient Israel. Even a nonbeliever might call that ironic turn of fate a miracle.
Can you imagine those ancient and oppressed peoples, those prototypical Christians holding up their bruised fists to the arrogance of Rome? History had finally given them this one powerful taste of revenge for the slaughter and abuse of their kind? The blow intended to enslave them had instead freed them! What is more, by virtue of the universality of the grace afforded to all mankind through this ultimate act of sacrifice all humans were protected beneath an umbrella of sublime absolution. Aside from being a remarkable marketing model the Eucharist is a critical symbol of human social evolution. It can and will be argued by some nonbelievers and believers alike that ensuing versions of Christianity following the resurrection perverted Jesus’s intent to suit their personal greed but that still cannot take away the power of this singular event. I like to say in this case, “It is what it is y’all”. Whether it be truth or myth the power of Christ’s resurrection has set a benchmark for the ultimate application of civil disobedience. To be assassinated by your oppressor and rise from the dead to defy them is a feat no bigot can outdo!
That is why Easter is so important, why it is essential for Black Americans to understand the example and lesson it teaches. Black Americans are still an oppressed people and Christ’s resurrection is a powerful metaphor for their resilience in the face of bigotry and racism, it symbolizes hope and personifies a promise that the evil which oppresses them today will be the very soil that will transform racism from its crude, irrational state into the very bricks of the foundation and tower of the temple of freedom.
Written By BIGDADDY BLUES