Easter is an honest holiday. It offers no false hopes or Pollyanna promises that nothing bad will ever happen to us. In fact, the prerequisite for Easter is the suffering and death of Jesus on Good Friday. We all love a comeback story. That's why there are so many movies made about underdogs who come back from defeat to win a great victory. The problem is that to have a comeback story you have to have a story of defeat. Similarly the problem with resurrection is that it requires a crucifixion.
But it's because of its honesty that I trust Easter hope. If when I am going through a hard time someone says to me, "it'll be all right" it's not very comforting because, of course, it may not be all right. Easter hope is not dependent on things being "all right" because Easter hope acknowledges that things die. It's just that with Jesus they don't stay dead. They lead to new life.
If what you want is something that guarantees success, prestige, comfort, and safety then following Jesus is not a good option. But if what you want is resurrection, restoration, new life coming out of old wounds, and all things being made new, then Jesus is your only option because only he has conquered death.
This is a sturdier hope than anything else. It does not depend on circumstances. If the hope we have is that even when things are not all right, Jesus will bring good out of bad, and new life out of death, then we have an indestructible hope. No weapon formed against us will remain and every evil meant to harm us will be compelled to be the eventual servant of our joy. That makes us invincible.
Dr. Scott Dudley
Pastor of Bellevue Presbyterian Church