The world came to a standstill on March 11. Everything we had hoped for, dreamed of, trusted in, crumbled in our hands and tumbled across the globe as invisible non-life broke through sandy faith and crushed our fragile reality. We sank, defeated, into ourselves and cried, clung to any last dangling lights we could find in the darkness of introspection. But there were none. Our little gods were stillborn, lifeless and idolatrous. And we tried in desperation to resurrect them, for surely it wasn’t as hellish as it seemed. And the non-life spread panic, contagious in how we scrabbled for truth, for reason, tried coming to bleeding terms with this season turned spinning on its head. We stooped further into the dust from whose depths we were formed.

It was humanity confirmed in its weakness. Our weakness.

But the world also came to a standstill on Good Friday 2000 years ago, when the man whose followers had hoped for, dreamed of, trusted in, was pinned, bloody, to a crooked tree, a crude fashioning of a throne, and left to die. Put up for display, they, we, slandered him, pierced his thin yet bloated body and called him King. And he didn’t try to save himself. He swayed, stayed, hung there and bowed his head and asked God to forgive their sins, ours. And he died. They had called him God and he died.

So they buried him and sat in the dust and wept. The curtain was open, yes, and the dead came out from their graves, but where was the praise when his quiet gaze was shut away in the stone, cold body wrapped in cloth and lying in death’s manger? It was over. Their savior was a fraud. But they forgot.

They forgot “on the third day he will rise.”

This God did not remain in the grave. He raised his head and ours with his and walked again in the garden. He appeared to a woman and said, “Go tell the others.” And they touched his hands, put their own in his side. He had died. But he was alive again, having redeemed flesh, redeemed souls, put the world on hold so they, we, would know real hope.

And we are no longer imprisoned by our sins, our foolish attempts to satisfy our own desires, instead come to him as beloved beggars and sing, “Hallelujah! Christ our King is risen.”

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