Easter. The celebration predates Christianity in many ways, but for most in organized religion, Easter is recognized as the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. Personally, I believe Jesus was crucified by the religious leaders of the day for his seeming heretical views contrary to the accepted doctrines of the day. Jesus reminded as many as would listen they were extensions of the Divine, the ability to create lay within each human, and not just to procreate other humans. Jesus taught tolerance, forgiveness, love, and none of these fit into the controlling teachings of the religious leaders regarding sin and the fires of hell. Historically, there is no solid evidence of the accuracy of the Easter story as told in the scriptures but writings exist to validate Pontius Pilate and a crucifixion that coincide with the events told in the Bible. Dramatic flares were added to the story with no historical base. So, the whole of the story comes down to a matter of faith and belief.
Life is a learning process. In the words of Mel Brooks, “life is a play; we’re unrehearsed”. So true is his statement. We come into this world with no instructions to navigate the murky waters. Hopefully, we learn as we go along. Some lessons are harder than others, and sometimes it takes us several attempts before we learn the lessons. We screw up, make mistakes, do the right thing for the wrong reasons, or the wrong thing for the right reasons. Sometimes we lose sight of God and listen to the voice of ego. The ego will lie, tell us we screwed up so badly God has abandoned us, turned His back, and we believe it. God seems distant, silent, unreachable and we find ourselves crying out as Jesus did, “Eloi Eloi lama sabachthani?” “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
Crucifixion was a very public, painful, and humiliating death, common during the time of Jesus. Even if we are not a part of westernized Christianity we can still identify with Jesus; abandoned, suffering, and alone in all the world. The intensity of believing we have been forsaken by God is real. We might as well be hanging on the cross. The silence from God is real, too, although temporary. God cannot be heard over the voice of the ego, a lesson we must all learn. The story did not end at the cross for Jesus and neither does it end there for us. Three days later His followers come to prepare His body and find the tomb empty. Redemption for the forsaken is alive and well.
The good news is God doesn’t abandon the beloved. It doesn’t truly matter if all, or none of the Easter story, as told in the Christian faith, is accurate. What does matter is our lives are not over at the cross, at the point we believe ourselves abandoned. The empty tomb awaits, reminding us God does not abandon the beloved and we are all beloved in the eyes of God, the Creator. We are extensions of the Divine and therefore cannot be abandoned. Can a leg abandon its foot or a shoulder its arm? Neither can God abandon us. Feelings of abandonment are real, and often part of the human experience. Easter reminds us we are never abandoned by God…..