The power and meaning of “resurrection”
Resurrection brings more than new clothes or Easter baskets. It means peace is stronger than war, justice stronger than injustice, compassion than contempt. Resurrection means forgiveness surpasses resentment and reconciliation revenge. It means nonviolence wins out over violence —- all contrary to the standards of conventional wisdom. In Dan [Berrigan]’s words, resurrection represents “the slight edge of life over death.” Or as Dr. King put it, “truth crushed to earth shall rise again.”
Resurrection —- the vindication of nonviolence over violence —- amid our bloody history proves that active nonviolence, steadfast service, and public peacemaking are the will of God. Note too that the resurrection is illegal. Jesus committed civil disobedience when he rose from the dead. The Roman soldiers guarded the tomb to make sure he stayed dead, but once again, Jesus breaks the imperial laws of death.
The nonviolent Jesus has risen above injustice, poverty, and violence. He is risen despite war. Executed himself, he is risen from the death penalty. Christ is risen beyond the power of nuclear weapons, racism, sexism, starvation, global warming and violence itself. Christ is risen above the culture of death. A bold announcement —- and we’re called to prove it. We prove it with the boldness of our own lives, our faith, our nonviolent resistance to the forces of death.
Fr. John Dear, SJ