Easter Cuts Like a Knife

Gerald R. Baron
8 min readApr 3, 2021

Easter is celebrated around the world especially by the world’s two billion who profess a faith in Christ. But the central and most important issue in Christianity is the historical event of the resurrection. Belief or unbelief rests on this single, crucial question. If it did not happen, Christians are of all people the most to be pitied, as one of the founders of the faith claimed.

Image: Freestocks on unsplash. Easter today conjures up more images of colored eggs and easter bunnies than images of a man dead three days from a torturous death walking out of his tomb. The issue divides, with little middle ground.

Easter celebrates the physical return to the body and human life of a man who died one of the most cruel deaths imaginable nearly 2000 years ago. The finality of death of the body is a universal experience. The belief that one person out of the 108 billion or so who ever lived escaped this fate tests rationality. That one person in the history of homo sapiens rose from the dead and still lives is a difficult belief to sustain, especially in our secular and scientific age.

That’s what makes it remarkable that even in a nation and world whose intellectual leadership is dominated by a worldview that rejects almost anything that can’t be proven by empirical study about 2.3 billion of the 7.8 billion alive today still hold to a belief system that is completely dependent on this one black swan event.

It is true that a significant and growing percentage of those who identify as Christian may be ambivalent about the resurrection or even reject it outright. From an orthodox Christian viewpoint, Christianity without the resurrection has lost its meaning. Those who subscribe to a faith without the resurrection have retained the bathwater but tossed out the baby. St. Paul put it powerfully:

“If in Christ we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

We are to be pitied because we have committed to a belief system that asks much of us but one that is without foundation. We live our lives with the expectation that death is not the destroyer that it appears to be, but is merely a facade, a thin wall, a passageway that leads to a life beyond this and one that will not again end in death. But we are miserably fooled. We are Vladimir and Estragon endlessly talking nonsense while waiting for Godot as in Samuel Beckett’s play. But Godot never comes.

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Gerald R. Baron

Dawdling at the intersection of faith, science, philosophy and theology.