My God’s not dead! Roaring like a lion…April 4, 2010
I think I’ve said this before, but just in case you haven’t heard, Easter is the best holiday! at least for me haha. I think one of the biggest things I learned when I was a freshmen at the U of I, was from my small group leader that year. It wasn’t something that he said during Bible Study, or even any kind of lesson he was teaching purposefully. It was simply his attitude, on Easter morning. I got up on that cold, dark, morning, before the sun had even peeked over the horizon, and slowly, in a haze, began to put on the dress clothes that seemed to be worn to death that weekend. Trundling down the stairs to the lobby, I sat sleepily on the bench, mulling over hazy thoughts and half-baked ideas in my head. When my whole small group had gathered, and my small group leader came to pick us up, I was in for a rude awakening. His attitude was so happy and excited, that despite my best attempts to conserve energy and keep my emotional body temperature at a steady 98 degress, I couldn’t help but get lost in his infectious attitude. Like a wave of jungle fever, the weight with which he spoke his words concerning the commemorating events of that Easter morning swept into me, and I couldn’t help but feel excited. I immediately awoke, in the short term, but also in the long term, in my general, over-arching, aerial view of the Easter holiday.
What’s all the hubbub about Easter, you say?
Friedrich Nietzsche published a work in the late 1800s called “Thus Spake, Zarathustra.” In it, the main character is responsible for quoting the famous line, that “God is dead.” This line has been echoed in the decades following, even to this very day, with some using it as a philosophical bludgeon, a point proving statement, as if to say, “the brilliant philosopher Nietzsche disproved the existence of God” and thus, that should win all arguments. And despite the fact that that is not what Nietzsche meant at all, neither statement holds any water. He meant it saying that mankind had outgrown its philosophical need for God, whether one really did or did not exist, and that the basis of all morality, and extrapolating further on that, the basis of hope for the human race lies in the “will of mind.”
So what’s that have to do with Easter? Everything.
Easter is the answer to both of those imposing questions, the exclamation point in the epic of redemptive history. It is the foundation on which Christianity rests, the pivotal hinge that opens the floodgates of hope and grace to pour down in a torrential deluge on our thirsty souls. As a modern poet put it so eloquently,
My God’s not dead, he’s surely alive! He’s living on the inside, roaring like a lion (Like a Lion – DCB)
and yes, that is the point. My God is NOT dead, an he is SURELY alive. Despite Nietzsche’s, and almost every other historical philosopher of the past and present’s best attempts to disprove the existence of God, or to prove the independence of the human collective from the need of depending on God for hope, the resurrection of Christ stands in direct defiance to it all. The empty tomb cries against the accusation that my God is dead. The folded grave clothes defend against the assertion that my God is powerless. His presence within me tears to shreds the feeble protests of the men and women who claim that the human race no longer needs to depend on God, roaring like the king of the jungle. It is no weak-willed, desperate claim that my God is the only thing I need. It is a powerful roaring war cry, reverberating through the essence of my soul, that answers all my questions about the hopelessness of sinful man, and the futility of good deeds by those who are totally depraved.
And that is why Easter is the best holiday. it is because of Easter, that I have hope for tomorrow. It is because of Easter that I can come before an almighty God, stained and flawed beyond recognition, pitifully placing before him my best deeds, which seem as filthy rags before His majesty, and still have them accepted as an offering to him. He still decides to use the load of crap that I bring Him for His renown and His glory. It is because of Easter that every struggle with sin that I have, every feeling of despair or loss, every idea that I’m not gonna make it, and every demon or devil, or evil minion that whispers to me in the dead of night, filling me with thoughts of depression, of futility, of weakness is quieted, shut up, zipped tight, and thrown to the curb. Because of the resurrected Christ, we have hope for tomorrow, we have strength for today, and have forgiveness for yesterday. His crucifixion on Friday washed us clean of our guilt, but his resurrection on Sunday is our proof that all of it is not in vain.
and that is why, O Zarathustra, I say to you, that
My God’s not dead, He’s surely alive! He’s living on the inside, ROARING LIKE A LION!
It doesn’t matter if I wake up at 4AM, or 6AM, or even 8AM on Easter morning. Any time on Easter is a time to celebrate!
Happy Easter everyone!