The Meaning of Easter: Miracles Still Happen
Jesus' resurrection was a true miracle that changed the world then, and continues to transform lives now.
2) No evangelistic religion in its right mind, operating in a highly patriarchal world, would make up the idea that the chief witnesses to the heart of their creed (death, burial, empty tomb, risen Lord) were women. The witness of women was considered suspect throughout the Greco-Roman world, including Judea.
3) In the context of early Judaism, resurrection meant something that happened to a body. It was not seen as a purely spiritual or visionary matter, which is one reason why the Gospel accounts stress that the risen Jesus could be touched and could eat. These accounts, in their very specificity and physical detail, were clearly not intended to be metaphorical. They are a record of a world-changing physical miracle: the return to life of a previously-dead man.
The Easter miracle transformed women and men from doubters to believers 2,000 years ago, and has continued to do so ever since. In great and little ways, Easter miracles have touched me personally. A member of a Baptist church near me suffered heart failure, but was miraculously revived after being prayed over by his pastor. The sister of my college roommate's closest friend, five years old and dying of leukemia, witnessed to the risen Jesus so personally and persuasively that her brother, who had gone down a dark path, converted long after she died. A little boy from a dirt-poor family in the backwoods of North Carolina, invited to an Easter egg hunt, showed me the true face of Christ by offering up his prized goose's egg "for the children who ain't got no Easter eggs." Jesus' resurrection continues to transform me and millions of other Christians.
To me Easter is all about the fact that God's "yes" to life is louder than death's "no," and the ultimate proof of this is that God raised his Son from the dead. Easter is not just about an isolated miracle 2,000 years ago that chiefly affected one person. Easter is all about the fact that miracles do still happen. Christ's story is the Christian's destiny. In 1 Cor. 15, Paul calls Jesus' resurrection the first fruits of the resurrection, and he speaks of a day when, upon Jesus' return, the dead in Christ will be raised.