Once upon a time it was a huge surprise. That first Easter morning the resurrection was a huge, shocking surprise to all the people who experienced it firsthand. However, since that day 2000 years ago, it’s no longer a surprise. Sure, the resurrection of Jesus Christ, has been debated, doubted, believed, and treasured by millions the world over – but it’s not an out-of-left-field story anymore. So everyone knows what I’m going to preach about this Sunday. As much as I want to be fresh, and compelling in ways no one’s ever heard it’s not gonna happen.
But here’s the thing about the message and the reality of the resurrection (and yes I believe the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is a historical reality) – familiar and unsurprising is not equal to non-momentous. Something can be very familiar and unsurprising and yet be very momentous. For instance, my wife tells me she loves me all of the time. Her message, and the reality behind it, isn’t a surprise anymore, the way it was the first time she let herself say it, but it’s still momentous to me. Sure I may get pretty familiar with my wife telling me she loves me, but to not have that familiar message, and the reality behind it, would tear a piece of my heart out. So I’m just going to admit that I probably won’t have anything new, surprising, or shocking to say this Easter, But I will be able to say something that is momentous because it has everything to do with hope that even death can’t destroy.