Tag Archives: Dachau

Easter Day (Year A, 24 April 2011)

Trust the resurrection

Colossians 3.1-4
Matthew 28.1-10

Christ is risen!
Christ is risen indeed!

Viktor Frankl was an Austrian psychiatrist and a Jew, who was interned in the Dachau concentration camp during the Second World War. In his most famous book, Man’s Search for Meaning, he tells about some of his fellow prisoners at the end of the war. They had been held captive so long that when they were released,

they walked out into the sunlight, blinked nervously and then silently walked back into the familiar darkness of the prisons, to which they had been accustomed for such a long time.

Sometimes, it seems the light is just too bright.

Listen to this claim that Diana Butler Bass will make in her next book:

The point isn’t that you believe in the resurrection. Any fool can believe in a resurrection from the dead. The point is that you trust in the resurrection. And that’s much, much harder to do.

I understand her words in this way: Sometimes, the sun/Sonlight is so bright that we may accept the ‘fact’ of the resurrection, but we don’t trust in the resurrection. In other words, we don’t trust that God doesn’t let death have the last word. God has determined that life comes out of death. The future is open. The last word is life.

That’s hard to believe sometimes. In Matthew’s story of Jesus, everything has finished. There’s no hope left. Jesus had been tried in a kangaroo court, flooded, mocked and made to carry his cross as far as he could. Then nails fastened him to the cross and he was hoisted in the air and left to die. Slowly. Painfully.

He called out, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ and breathed his last.

Death had had the last word—or so it seemed. How could anyone possibly trust in a resurrection? The disciples didn’t. They were beaten men.

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