“Jesus said to her, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’” (John 11: 25-26).

Somehow we just don’t make the same boisterous fun of Holy Week that we do of Christmas. No one plans to have a holly jolly Easter. Easter just isn’t fun in the same way Christmas is, a type of fun that could be better described as styled for children. As a child, you could count on Christmas to change a lot of stuff, especially in the toy box. Easter didn’t change anything. But when you think about the astonishing claims Christians make for Easter, that neglect seems pretty strange. No Easter, no Christianity. If Jesus didn’t rise from the dead, who cares whether he was born in a manger or a 7-Eleven? If he didn’t rise from the dead, Christmas is meaningless too.

When we grew up, we put away the childish things. We began to be concerned with bigger things, many of them difficult to comprehend: suffering, death, people living through situations so crushingly unfair. These are not things children have to think about. Easter tells us of something children can’t understand, because it addresses things they don’t yet have to know: the weariness of life, the pain, the profound loneliness and hovering fear of meaninglessness.

Yet in the midst of this desolation we find Jesus, triumphant over death and still shockingly alive, present to us in ways we cannot understand, much less explain. In Him we find vibrancy of life and a firm compassion that does not deny our suffering but transforms and illuminates it. He is life itself. Easter contains the one thing needful for every human life: the good news of the resurrection. Easter didn’t change anything? Easter changes everything!

Adapted from Bread and Wine (Frederica Mathewes-Green)