Farewell to Fear
As we head into the season of Easter, the gospel of John is our primary resource this year for considering the depth and impact of the resurrection. In John’s understanding, it’s all about the triumph of light over darkness since he views Jesus as the “light of all people.” One of the things light does is illuminate circumstances that would otherwise cause us to be fearful.
I was reminded of this while reading a history of the First World War recently, entitled My Fellow Soldiers. Given the 100th anniversary of U.S. involvement in that conflict, I’ve been reading some recent work which reminds us of the tragic nature of that conflict and the incredible suffering borne by millions. As the U.S. forces were deployed in France, they were untested and quite nervous. “I shot six Germans sneaking up on me one night,” reported a private by the name of Quincy Mills, “and when daylight came they were all the same [tree] stump.” Darkness tends to magnify our fears, doesn’t it?
With the resurrection, which John views as the ultimate point of illumination in human history, we see something that definitively washes us in the light a new reality, if we are willing to open our eyes to it. Death is no longer a source of fear, since Christ has triumphed over it. We are never alone, because Christ is risen and is always near. Life has meaning and purpose because we are restored as sons and daughters of the living God through his sacrifice of love. Living in the light of these truths truly changes everything.