At an Easter service in Texas on Sunday, football star Tim Tebow called Easter “our Super Bowl.” Well, sorry, Tim, but I think the resurrection of the nonviolent Jesus is beyond any football analogy. During my speaking tour about my new book Lazarus, Come Forth!, I’ve been talking about resurrection in terms of active nonviolence.
For me, it means death does not get the last word, that from now on, we do not cooperate with death and its analogies, that we are called to be people of loving nonviolence. Our task is to abolish poverty, war, executions, nuclear weapons and violence if we want to live in Christ’s resurrection gift of peace. Going to the Super Bowl is easy compared to the Easter struggle for justice and disarmament.
This Easter, I found myself pondering Mark’s account of the resurrection. His version — the earliest and shortest of the four Gospel versions — does not feature the risen Jesus. He never appears. Instead, a youth dressed in white — the clothing of martyrs — commands the women to tell the men to return to Galilee, where they will see the risen Jesus. They run away terrified.