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Easter - Resurrection of Our Lord - Mark 16:1-8

Easter leads to Good Friday.

Maybe that's why the women are terrified into silence; the news is explosive and will ignite potent backlash.

It's not that people won't believe them; it's that when people do believe, the safeties are off.

Jesus' resurrection means, among so many other things, divine vindication of his vision.

God is speaking a thunderous yes to his ministry that led to the cross in the first place: touching untouchables, eating with sinners, exposing the powerful, lifting up the powerless, redefining religion, threatening established order.

It's the vision Martin Luther King, Jr. translated for our country as a dream: the resurrection of equality, the rise of justice, the Easter dawn of dignity and mutuality.

When he applied it to Vietnam he was castigated; when he applied it to Memphis sanitation

workers, he was murdered fifty-three years ago this morning.

Easter leads to Good Friday, because the forces that defy God always fight back.

Georgia is still hemorrhaging with racial fear, distrust, and power struggle.

Washington was still celebrating victorious peace when Lincoln was assassinated.

Emancipation was met with Jim Crow.

The rollout of vaccines has been met with new strains of virus.

The return to public gatherings has been met with the return of mass shootings.

The verdict in the Chauvin case, no matter how just and right it is, will infuriate someone.

Any and every victory for life gets challenged.

No good deed goes unpunished.

As a teenager, I once made the naive mistake of prioritizing well-being over appearances.

I asked the pastor to help us with family conflict, and was quickly and severely taught NEVER to do that again.

Now it shows up in sermons instead.

Truth and life refuse to stay buried.

Somehow, eventually, Good Friday always bends to Easter.

So we can face brutal reality with bulletproof confidence.

We can overcome our silence and fear to raid the world with Christ's reckless love.