“God is dead.” Long have the scientist, philosopher, and modern man attempted to declare Him so. Indeed, in their words, arguments, and studies they have tied Him down, stuck Him with nails, stabbed Him with spears, and hung their work on a hilltop for the world to see. The strange irony of the thing is that God so loved the world, that when the world declared Him dead, He humbly acquiesced. The work of these men is secondary, for God has already suffered death on a cross and was buried behind a great stone. The problem that the scientist, philosopher, and the modern man confront is His failure to remain in the tomb. Despite their most extraordinary effort, they continue to fail to put Him back.
Easter is our annual reminder of this great paradox. That the victory of the world is its defeat, and the defeat of God His victory. God did not simply win a losing battle, but a battle that was lost. Following, His victory was not publicly announced to the world as a king might issue a decree, but rather His Gospel was entrusted to the few, the weak, the sinful, the unlikely. This is what the world struggles to understand. It is not that God does not make sense so much as He is not sensible. In no other theism to my knowledge has God’s omnipotence been so weak (or so strong?) as to allow the dignity of man’s will to trump His. I do not believe that in any other faith has God forsaken God, demanding not man’s sacrifice, but His own. Perhaps it is for this insensibility that in Christianity of all religions God so often chose to use the weak and least qualified to spread His Gospel. Those who have been rejected by this world, those forced to find hope when there is little to hope for, and those who are initially most bent against His will understand this hope and irrationality best. In a sense, Christ defeated defeat; that is why He will not be contained by any tomb, whether of cold stone or cold argument. That is why He is our eternal hope. Ultimately, we are all weak and hopeless and created for this eternal hope. In one way or another, man must face the hopelessness of death. Death is our final enemy, and man has discovered better and worse ways of approaching him. Yet, for what I can tell, no man has yet defeated death, save One. And He is risen. He is risen indeed.