by Greg Alms
Easter is many things. One thing we may not think of is that it is the answer to evolutionary ideas about our origins. There are many theories as to how the universe and life came about. The big bang theory is popular, a giant cataclysm that propelled matter and energy in all directions. Closer to home there are various ideas about how life came to exist on earth. An electric spark in a primordial soup or extreme cold or various other mechanisms are posited to have brought forth life.
All these theories have in common one thing: They do not tell a story. They do not tell your story. They cannot tell you who you are or why you matter or why what you do is important. In the end, evolutionary schemes about our origins declare that you do not have a story at all. They say that there is no start or finish or significance to your days and months and years. A mindless process of chance impinges on every part of that system. And in this way of looking at things we are part of that system. Accidental occurrences are just random data. They do not write beautiful novels or fall in love or sacrifice their self for a greater good. They are ping pong balls in a lottery bin.
Easter is the answer to this. Of course, Genesis 1 and 2 have much to say about this but so does Jesus’ rising from the dead. The resurrection of Jesus does tell a story. It tells your story. When Jesus is risen from the dead it testifies to a different origin and outcome for people, individual people. The story of Jesus’ resurrection testifies to a good God at the center of the universe, at its origin, not a haphazardness. That the Creator of all things exists and further participates in the universe He made and shares in even the lives of small little folks like us by becoming one of them is a grand and profound story. That this Creator troubles Himself over small particular lives and people, their bodies and ills and wrongdoings is a surprising shift from any story told about us by any other religion or theory. That this God even conquers death and disobedience by personally taking on death and overcoming it with His own suffering and death and giving mercy to the disobedient makes each fallen human story important and profound.
The resurrection of Jesus makes every human life valuable. It gives every person a story that begins with a personal God who made them and a finale in the rescuing of every human life through the cross. In the light of Easter, the twists and turns of our lives are not evidence of a haphazard system. They are plot lines in the narrative of your life redeemed by a suffering God, the Word made flesh, who triumphs over death and fallenness. The resurrection of Jesus gives you a story to live, anchored by a loving God who unfolds that story from beginning to end.
The Rev. Greg Alms is pastor of Redeemer Lutheran, Catawba, N.C.