Shortly before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, Pontius Pilate, a Roman bureaucrat stuck between a rock and a hard place, looked at Jesus standing before him and asked: ‘’What is truth’’?
No answer to his question is recorded, because Jesus probably didn’t give one. He must have thought that his life and imminent death were answers enough.
Not that many understood them at the time. Even his disciples were confused. The disciples wanted a long-living, victorious Jesus and the religious zealots at the time wished for a Jesus who would take up the sword and smite their enemies. But it was never going to be that easy. The grace we live in didn’t come cheap.
Why did Jesus have to die and be resurrected?
At Easter, we celebrate historical events that happened to real people at a real place and time – the centrepoint of time. There are no comparable events in history.
The apostles who were so afraid after the crucifixion ended up as martyrs for their faith, after the resurrection of Jesus. From that uncertain beginning sprang the Christian movement, which today numbers more than two billion people.
Christianity stands and falls on Jesus walking out of his tomb. Without that, Christianity should and would have disintegrated into a thousand pieces.
The resurrection gives an eternal perspective of death.
Why did Jesus have to die and be resurrected? He said the world was in chaos and someone had to pay. He understood his own death as a ransom for many. Easter, then, is at the centre of the Christian faith.
The resurrection gives an eternal perspective of death. The extraordinary power of the cross serves as the bridge between a broken people and God.
After the resurrection, the risen Jesus was seen by some, but not by others. Some got the meaning of the resurrection and it changed their lives. Others were indifferent or chose not to see.
There are still those who will ignore the evidence because it is too challenging. But millions of Christians will celebrate the resurrection this month as an act of faith.
If Easter indicates anything, it is that truth and love are eternal. You can nail them to the tree, wrap them up and seal them in a tomb – but they will rise again.