The Resurrection – Luke 24:5-9 (NRSV)
5 The women were terrified and bowed their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here, but has risen. 6 Remember how he told you, while he was still in Galilee, 7 that the Son of Man must be handed over to sinners, and be crucified, and on the third day rise again.” 8 Then they remembered his words, 9 and returning from the tomb, they told all this to the eleven and to all the rest.
The whole scene described in today’s scripture made me think about mothers from more recent years: Like the mothers of Emmett Till, Trayvon Martin, and others who have died violently because of the senseless, heartbreaking, mind-blowing sin of their murderers. I wonder what those mothers thought and felt when they learned about the death of their children? Did they shake their fists at God? Did they curse the killers? Did they ask: What’s the point of all this suffering? How could the lives of these children be over so soon? Even though Emmett, Trayvon, and many others are gone from this earth, a part of them still lives on. Though their bodies were planted too soon, the cycles of life suggest that there will be a resurrection. Justice demands that something be born from the precious seeds of their bodies.
If that is the case, what has been born anew because they died? Conversations have been resurrected. Some people have suggested that the death of these young people has awakened the need for families and friends to have frank discussions with one another. There need for tableside chats and prolonged conversations about the brutal realities of survival in a hostile society. There need to be some survival skills passed down from father to son, mother to daughter, sister to sister, brother to brother, and from generation to generation.
What else has been resurrected? Heightened consciousness has been raised as a result of these senseless deaths. I see evidence of it in the protest marches that have (and will continue to) spread across the nation as an outcry against injustice. I see lights being shed on unjust laws and lopsided practices. I see people who dare to hold public forums that grapple with the hard questions.
Accountability has also been resurrected. I see mirrors of accountability being held up so that perpetrators and victims alike can gaze deeply on what’s reflected there. I see justice-minded people digging a little deeper and looking a little closer at the root causes of violence, injustice, and other critical issues of our day. I see lovers of the truth, starting to look at racism and poverty under a super-powered microscope. I see prophets, preachers, and professors exposing what’s been undercover for too long. As the Prophet would have advised us in Habakkuk 2:2, let’s make the inconsistencies plain so that a runner can read them!
A heightened awareness that all lives matter has been reborn in our spirits. We have renewed awareness that when we stand in solidarity with each other and with those who support our cause, our voices unite as one humanity. We are members of the same humanity for whom Christ died – once for all. Prompted by the impassioned pleas of mothers who have lost children to violence – we have joined our cries with theirs, protesting with extraordinary fervor and profound faith that justice will prevail as it did in former days. In other words, our cries testify to the truth that there is still power in the blood that Jesus shed. Both individually and corporately, we are compelled to stand up and claim it in the name of Jesus!