I hope you have been able to follow our three-part series on Making Sense of Easter, which will culminate this week on Easter Sunday with an exploration of the Resurrection. We have been looking at many different interpretations of the “Easter experience” that is told in the gospel accounts including what Jesus’ main message and teachings were, how we can make sense of his death on the cross, and what deep meaning we can derive from the metaphorical or symbolic aspects of the story. I hope you are beginning to find your own meaning in these stories and that you are coming to recognize aspects of yourself in the various elements of the story.
As I mentioned in my sermon this past Sunday, the Easter story is made up of three parts—the crucifixion, the time in the tomb, and the resurrection. Father Richard Rohr says that this three-part process is really the pattern for all spiritual transformation. First there is a crucifixion—something dissolves, something dies, something falls apart. This happens when we go through life’s transitions—the death of a loved one, the loss of a job, moving, getting older. Father Rohr calls these life’s “small deaths” that happen all the time and are just part of the human experience. These times may bring grief, sorrow, confusion, suffering. And yet they so often end up being times of very potent transformation for us.
The time spent in the tomb or the “Saturday Experience,” is the in-between time after something has ended and before something new has begun. Like the butterfly in her chrysalis, we are being transformed during these times. The more we can “be” with the experience, allow ourselves to have our feelings about it, and be patient with ourselves in moving through the experience, the easier this time will be and the more we can open ourselves up to the deep learning and growth that often accompanies it.
Finally comes the Resurrection experience, when we emerge from our time in the tomb into a new life. We come out of these experiences as changed beings. We have grown, overcome adversity,
become more resilient, gained strength, and increased our capacity for empathy and compassion. We are not the same as we were before, which is why we call this a “resurrection.” Just as Jesus emerged from the tomb as “the Christ,” fully realized in his spiritual nature and completely aligned with “the Father,” we too are emerging as more spiritual beings, lighter, more connected to Source, more full of faith, hope, and joy.
Whatever you are releasing, letting go of, “dying to” this Easter season, be patient with yourself as you move through the transition. Know that new life is awaiting you on the other side, so when you’re ready, roll away that stone and step into a fuller awareness of your own divinity as a beautiful expression of God. He is risen! We are risen! Happy Easter!
May Easter blessings abound!