When I think about what the resurrection means to me, I guess there’s a lot that comes to mind. There’s the historical aspect of the resurrection which marked out Jesus to be the Son of God and ignited the Christian faith around two-thousand years ago. Without the historical fact of the resurrection, every deed of charity or sacrifice or martyrdom is worthless. This resurrection event was no claim that was added to the doctrine of the Church some centuries after Jesus died (giving them time to fabricate a myth about him). No, this was a central claim that was made from the earliest claims of Jesus’ followers and was able to be verified by those who lived contemporaneously with Jesus of Nazareth (see 1 Corinthians 15).
But the resurrection is so much more than just a historical fact. The resurrection is God’s declaration that He has won. It is something of an invitation too. Easter is the audacious claim that God not only defeated sin and death and Satan, but that He invites us to win with Him too! We are offered the chance to identify with Jesus in His resurrection and victory. Maybe there is something in this suggestion that gives me hope of something greater and better. Everything I see around me passes from life to death with no hope of change for the better. But in the resurrection I see death rise into life and hope suddenly restored again. It is a hope that I’m not resigned to staying the way I am because I was “born this way,” but that I might be re-born and re-made. It is hope that the death-cycle is broken. It is hope that something greater than my greatest imaginings is in store.