Rev. Maria Mallory White and Rev. John F. White II
By REV. MARIA MALLORY WHITE AND REV. JOHN F. WHITE II
Churches will be filled this week because it’s Easter Sunday. Some of the people sitting in the seats will be coming because it’s a part of what they do each week. Others will be making their oncea-year appearance in casket-sharp outfits because someone told them they must go to church at least one Sunday a year, Easter.
But what does it really mean, the Resurrection?
For those who don’t know, “Easter,” which we prefer to call Resurrection Sunday, is when we celebrate the marvelous miracle of Jesus, the Son of God, coming back to life. Jesus, had died a few days earlier, giving up His life on a cross.
Though He did nothing to deserve His crucifixion, He gave His life in exchange for sinful humanity, who actually deserve death (Roman 6:23).
And when Jesus rose early Sunday morning, His return is a cosmic triumph for all loyal to and dependent on His Kingship. In “Black Panther,” T’Challa echoes Jesus’ victorious return when he proclaims, “As you can see, I am not dead, I am very much alive.”
T’Challa continues the fight to regain his throne. Jesus didn’t fight. He freely gave up His life—He wasn’t murdered; He gave up His spirit (John 19:30), paying for the sins of the whole world (John 3:16). With His death and resurrection, Jesus secured His throne and the freedom of all His people (Hebrews 10).
So, what Jesus’ resurrection means is that because He lives, everyone who has been counted out and written off gets the opportunity to make a comeback. Because He lives, everyone now has the possibility to come back from the most horrific and horrible, devastating and despicable, painful and hurtful situations in life.
Jesus’ resurrection means that we who believe (Philippians 4:13) will no longer be bound by any limitation—be it physical, emotional, psychological, educational or communal—because He lives.
The Resurrection means we who believe are no longer prisoners to our past, captives to our failures, inmates to our issues nor hostages to our hang-ups—because He lives. We have been delivered—if in faith we join our lives with His—because His resurrection delivered us from being people-pleasers concerned with folk who only make withdrawals from our sanity – instead of deposits into our well-being.
Because He lives, if we live in Him, we have been set free from mindsets and mentalities that prohibit us from going back to school, starting our own businesses, repairing our finances and owning our own homes.
What does the Resurrection mean? That by receiving His gift of new life, we have power to be all that God has called us to be. Power to say no to ourselves even when we want to say yes. Power to refuse to let others determine our destiny and foreclose on our future. Power to tell those who think they are in control they will no longer disrespect our community, showing up once a year for photo opps and not partnering with us to stop the prison pipeline, eradicating poverty, eliminating injustice and educating our children.
With King Jesus on our side, we have the power to overcome evil and defeat the death that stalks our community because He lives.
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