A close seminary friend used to tell me, quoting past church mystics and theologians to note the dreary and melodramatic reality of our world: "We live in an in-between time — between despair and hope — between the Resurrection of Jesus and the Return of Jesus - between the inauguration of the Kingdom of God and the final redemption of all things." In other words, we live in the promise of redemption, but not in the fulfillment of it.
And I absolutely agree! I see a world famished with sin and groaning in pain. Over two-thirds of the world lives without clean drinking water. Thousands of children die everyday due to poor healthcare that those who live in the Western world can cure with medicine purchased at the local drug store. We further oppress the homeless and poor in our country. Yes, I agree. Our world is broken, and we, as Christians, long for the final redemption of it, where all things and people — the whole world — will be set back to rights!
Similarly, during that fated Saturday a couple of thousand years ago, a few mourned the death and defeat of a peer-proclaimed Rabbi. No hope for return. No hope for victory. The once hope-filled movement of restoration and salvation was seemingly squashed by the powers that be.
But Then came Sunday. We know what happened on Sunday. A man named Jesus resurrected from the dead, conquered death, and spoke with victory to a community who now garnered hope. Through the resurrection, Jesus reclaimed the truth that God did indeed inaugurate a new Kingdom through a man beaten death and called a criminal! This truth alone beckons all of those who believe in the resurrection of Jesus to participate in this ongoing redemption story, and celebrate the Good News of Jesus Christ. He is risen… he is risen indeed!
And then came... Monday. The day after the resurrection. This day marked the beginning of the good hard work to be done. Unlike the real Saturday before Easter Sunday, we can see an empty tomb in our rear view. The Church now knows this reality of hope; we can feel it, and our embrace for what Christ did for us calls us to participate into the reality of the resurrection everyday. It's time to get to work, and share with the world the Good News of victory and salvation! Easter gives me a case of the Mondays!
QUESTION: Where do you observe the need for redemption in your world, and what role has God given you to make it happen?