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Published March 30 2013

Forum editorial: An irony elegant, beautiful

It is difficult to grasp the darkness and confusion that must have surrounded the disciples of Jesus in those hours between his crucifixion and resurrection. The expectation of the coming Jewish Messiah was that he would be a conqueror. He would drive the occupiers from the land belonging to God’s chosen people.

So when Jesus speaks of his impending suffering and death, the Apostle Peter says, “This shall never happen to you.” This was not within Peter’s paradigm. This dying servant was not the Messiah that Peter was expecting.

But Jesus did die. The sovereign of this kingdom that was to have no end, lay slain by the forces he should have expelled. The disciples had built their lives around this Jesus. They had dreamed of the restoration of Israel. Now their hopes and dreams lay in the tomb with their rabbi. What does life mean after your Messiah is dead?

But, though they could not see it, there was a beautiful and elegant irony bubbling and stewing below the surface in those moments. Though goodness and hope had never seemed more distant, though wickedness and darkness had never seemed so victorious, it was in this moment that God was accomplishing his greatest salvific victory: overcoming death, forgiveness for moral evil, redemption of, not only an individual people but the world. And that victory that simmered below the surface burst forth Easter morn.

The resurrection validated Jesus’ implied and explicit claims to divinity. It is the promise of victory over death for his followers and forgiveness of moral failings for the repentant. The message of Easter is also a reminder to followers of Christ that, ultimately, good wins. It is a promise that regardless of the apparent victories of evil men and institutions, right will prevail. And that right will be a true right, not a “right” warped by the fluid lenses of culture or the self-service of human pride and pleasure. It will be a right born of moral and spiritual perfection, administered by God himself.

This Easter morning Christ’s followers look back on the resurrection in celebration, putting the pain and death of the crucifixion behind them and exulting in salvation won. They also look forward, past the death and darkness around them in the present world, to the final victory promised in a risen savior.

Forum editorials represent the opinion of Forum management and the newspaper’s Editorial Board.