Today’s Bible Reading
If Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile and you are still in your sins. Then those also who have died in Christ have perished. If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.—1 Corinthians 15:17-19
More thoughts for meditation
“King refused to lose hope or to relinquish the belief that all reality hinges on moral foundations. He focused his hope on Jesus’ cross and resurrection. Christ came to show us the way. Men love darkness rather than the light, and they crucified Him, there on Good Friday on the Cross it was still dark, but then Easter came, and Easter is the eternal reminder of the fact that the truth-crushed earth will rise again. No matter what disappointments he faced, King still preached hope with the passion of a prophet: I still have a dream, because, you know, you can’t give up on life. If you lose hope, somehow you lose that vitality that keeps life moving, you lose that courage to be, that quality that helps you to go on in spite of all.”—James H. Cone, The Cross and the Lynching Tree
To see the hope in the cross, King has to fixate on the resurrection. There’s no question for King and for Black people and all people everywhere, the lynching of our savior is not, in itself, a matter of hope. It’s conceivable to make a theological argument that the death on the cross is what reconciles us to God, but without resurrection, we don’t get to experience that salvation on earth.
In his resurrection, Jesus assures us that we can overcome all the trouble we face. And because of the resurrection, during this season of Lent, we can plunge to the depths of our individual and collective struggles because we know what’s the other side. Allow our reassurance to let us feel the gravity of our sin in the face of the glory of God.
Suggestions for action
Lent is a special time because we can feel all of the death around us, for those of us who have more power because of our social locations, it’s an opportunity to feel what the oppressed already feel every day. But we’ve endured a lot of trouble in the last year, so perhaps our collective proximity to death and oppression is changing. We can feel all of that, but we know it isn’t the final answer, because Resurrection awaits us. Don’t allow Resurrection to numb you from feeling the pain, but acknowledge it so that you might endure it.
Today is Sunday. In Lent, Sunday is a “little Easter.” A day of rest, even a break from your fast. Be sure to look to the Resurrection today and see the hope in the life that comes from death. It is essential because without it we might succumb to despair and death. We may think there is no hope beyond the sea of death and oppression around us. But there is, the Sun Also Rises.