Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Easter Rescue

I don't claim to be a mystic, but I felt deep in my bones that Capt. Richard Phillips would be rescued today. Perhaps it just seemed perfectly poetic that the rescue of a man who sacrificed his life for others should take place on Easter.

The convergence of this breaking news drama with Holy Week and Easter Sunday should not be missed. In the gospel, Christ sacrificed his life for the sake of the world he loves. In doing so, Christ entrusts his life to God. There is an element of risk. Too often the surrender of Christ is portrayed as a magician's trick in which Jesus has a divine escape hatch and is never truly in danger. A simple reading of Jesus' prayer in Gethsemane communicates Jesus' anxiety and his request to maintain confidence in God's power to raise him from the dead. As Jesus goes to the cross, the future is in God's hands. The power to raise Christ from the dead resides in God.

The victory on Resurrection Day is a crushing blow to the powers of death and destruction. The rules of the game are changed. The one who sacrificed his life is not simply given back his life, his rescue and vindication mark the beginning of the end for the powers of evil.

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