Everything is green. Spring is here. Trees are blossoming and flowers are blooming. Bugs are crawling and birds are flying. The barren winter, such as it was, has been replaced by the sparkle and shine of spring. There are many miracles that occur in spring. Dormant trees and flowers start to grow. Seeds start to sprout. New life seems to emerge from every direction. For a Christ follower, the new life that spring brings forth can hardly help but be a reminder of the resurrection. Yet, all the blooming, budding and blossoming of spring are not resurrection, not the resurrection. While we witness the miracle of life all around us on these warm spring days, these miracles are not the miracle. They are not an empty tomb, a risen Christ nor a living Lord. In as much as spring’s new burst of life reminds of the resurrection and points us toward the risen one, we ought to relish and embrace it. To the extent that it dilutes or minimizes the radical reality of that astonishing Easter morn, we would do well to distinguish between what reminds us of resurrection and what actually is resurrection.
While all of God’s creation whispers about and points toward the resurrection, the resurrection of Christ is an entirely unique event. There is nothing else like it in all of human history. The coming of spring is an annual event that repeats itself year after year. Its wonder and beauty comes forth in a rather predicable fashion each year. As spring approaches, we know to expect certain events to take place, flowers bloom, grass grows and the weather get warmer. The resurrection of Christ is singular. It happened once a long time ago. It does not repeat itself year after year. We have heard about the resurrection but we did not see it. We believe not because we have seen, but because we have been given faith. We believe it as an act of faith.
We believe it not because we have seen it, but we have seen it. No, not the actual, literal event, but we have seen resurrection. We have seen it, not simply in nature’s metaphor, but in our lives. We have seen it in God’s grace-giving, life-liberating, mercy-showing, compassion-extending, salvation-offering way of dealing with us. We were blind, but now we see. We were lost, but now we are found. We were dead, but now we live.
While blossoming flowers and returning songbirds may remind us of Christ’s resurrection, changed lives are the best indicator of its reality. Lives that show mercy tell us that resurrection has happened. Lives that offer salvation let us know that resurrection is still happening. Lives that pursue justice remind us that resurrection is not finished yet.
Lives that live for Christ proclaim to us and to all the earth that God still invites us to repentance and forgives us our sins.