1. the act of rising from the dead.
2. (initial capital letter ) the rising of Christ after His death and burial.
3. (initial capital letter ) the rising of the dead on Judgment Day.
4. the state of those risen from the dead
5. a rising again, as from decay, disuse, etc.; revival.
He is risen!
Because death is in our future, resurrection matters to us at an existential level. And because he is risen, resurrection has been elevated to a wholly different status. Before, the idea smacked of little more than delusion, of idle dreams. Ever since, the idea has contained a hint of possibility, of reality, maybe even of… inevitability.
Two special aspects to that historic resurrection that might capture our imagination. First, the resurrection wasn’t just a return to the preexisting state. Christ didn’t simply reappear in his earlier, mortal form – to be subject to death again. He returned as something inexpressibly greater than before. He came back transcendent, eternal.
Second – and this might be especially significant to meteorologists – that first resurrection didn’t just happen out of the blue. It was predicted. Jesus didn’t just say he was going to die; many others have foreseen their deaths before and since. He said He would rise again. And that was hardly what meteorologists would call a persistence forecast. It’s not as if all or some percentage of us had been visibly resurrected in this way across recorded history. This was a first. It’s as if he’d said that the sun wouldn’t rise in the east tomorrow. No one saw it coming. He also made an impact-based forecast, saying His resurrection would give the whole world hope. Our history hasn’t been a controlled experiment, but you could make an argument that the world has indeed been a more positive place ever since.
Against this backdrop, we can be bold enough to make our own predictions: death is in our future, but death is not the whole of our future. There’s more. And better. Not just for our persons, but for our relationships, for our hopes and aspirations, every aspect of our world that we care about.
What resurrection do you hope for? Please share your list. For starters, here’s a sample of my own professional hopes. That there will be a resurrection of thoughtful, civil discourse on climate change science and coping options and strategies. That there will be an end to our degradation of Earth’s natural habitats, air and water quality, and ecosystems. That there will a revival in our determination to meet Millennial goals of eliminating poverty, hunger, and disease worldwide. That we will shoulder responsibility for meeting such goals locally and individually. That the 21st century will be Earth’s and earthlings’ best years yet.
The best to you this Easter and Passover season.
He is risen, indeed!