Within the spring of 1963, the Southern Christian Leadership Conference was engaged in a marketing campaign to defeat Jim Crow legal guidelines in Birmingham, Alabama. As they approached the Easter weekend that year, no victory was in sight. However, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr knew there was one thing within the logic of Easter that urged the best way to victory is likely to be counterintuitive. He determined to go to jail on Good Friday and keep there via the Easter weekend. He wouldn’t be free to evangelize a sermon on the holiest day of the Christian 12 months; however he would pen his well-known Letter from a Birmingham Jail as he waited to see an approach ahead.
Within the midst of this world’s deepest darkness, the Christian story of the resurrection factors in the direction of the ability of hope. As we climate a world pandemic, Easter affords a second for us to replicate on the function of struggling and the potential for radical solidarity.
Over the previous month, we now have entered a brand new actuality the place despair is ever-current and concern pervasive. The loss of life toll retains rising, and as an alternative of sincere management, we now have a president who makes use of press conferences as political rallies. Trump may remind us of Pontius Pilate, who got here from a well-known household and oversaw a tense, violent relationship with the Jewish minority of Jesus’ day. America right this moment isn’t in contrast to the Roman Empire through which Christ was crucified as an insubordinate revolutionary.
Struggling shouldn’t be anathema to Christians. Within the Christian story, Jesus – the son of the creator of the universe – willingly undergoes a painful, bloody, public loss of life. It’s the last sacrifice, in order that others don’t have to proceed with the bloodletting. That is an astounding concept, a reversal of all our dominant values, our starvation for immortality, for energy, for pleasure above all else. The crucifixion is the story of Jesus’ final sacrifice and solidarity with the world.