Wolfhart Pannenberg, D.D., asserts that the resurrection of Christ is the most pivotal event in human history. He correctly contends that every event up to AND since the resurrection is only properly interpreted when seen THROUGH the resurrection.
This means 2 things:
1) The Cross, as God’s ultimate and eternal plan, holds much more than egg hunts and candy for all humanity. Let’s face it, for most of the Western world, there is some sort of lip service paid to the meaning of Easter, and a greater expectation of a day off from work, candy, or Easter eggs. However, whatever the expectations, Easter is on the minds of most Western thinkers, even if it’s just in this superficial treatment of the holy day. As a follower of Christ, we have an opportunity to point people to something so much bigger than a day off. The Cross event is the single event upon which all of history hangs. The Cross event holds the key to correctly interpreting and extrapolating every event on the time line of humanity. We ought to be awakening people to the magnitude of this event, and inviting them to something so much deeper and greater than a chocolate bunny.
2) As “Jesus People,” we must be sure that we are Easter People all year long. We have an obligation to interpret the events of our every day lives in light of the resurrection of Christ. Since the Cross Event IS the most important event in history, and since we claim to have been eternally changed by the Cross Event, those who follow Jesus must model its importance in an ongoing fashion, and not just when it’s on the minds of our culture. How do you interpret the loss of a loved one? How do we interpret the great promotion at work? Unless every event of life is scrutinized in light of the Cross, we miss the point.
I hope that this Easter Season, those who claim the name of Christ will also claim the impact of Christ. Our challenge should be to point others to The Cross, while we ourselves hold fast to The Cross.