When my daughter was young the words “resurrection” and “crucifixion” must have been complex, because she combined them into a single word, “crusarection.” We thought it was funny, of course. It wasn’t until much later that I saw how much she had in common with the early disciples.

Reading any of the Gospels post-resurrection, and particularly the Gospel of John, it’s clear that things are very confusing. Mary thinks Jesus’ body has been stolen. Peter sees the linen wrappings and can’t work out what it’s all about. The disciples didn’t understand the scriptures. The angels question Mary and she still doesn’t know what’s going on. Then she thinks Jesus is the gardener. Then, it seems, she reaches out to cling on to him, and he tells her she must not. The story is simply loaded with confusion.

And the point is: Easter has burst into our world, the world of space, time and matter, the world of real history and real people and real life. But our minds and imaginations are too small to contain it. We do our best to put the sea into a bottle and fit the explosive fact of the resurrection into the world we know.

Here I am at 53 years old still learning to “see.” The resurrection is the truth that makes sense of all other truth, the truth that offers itself as the framework within which those other truths find meaning. It is not one more truth among truths, another spoke on the hub. It IS the hub. Everything rotates around this center. This notion is so radical, (some will use the term “metanarrative”), that we humans are immediately looking for a way to shape it into the pluralism we know, to reduce it to a manageable size.

It isn’t possible.

One of the great Easter stories comes in Peter’s words to Cornelius in Acts 10:34-43. Here is a picture of the Gospel leaving the confines of the Jewish nest. To this point the disciples have not seen the implications. So the Lord has to “download” new information to Peter. He has been operating on Windows 2.0, and suddenly he gets Windows 7, or LINUX, or…? It’s a completely new OS, one he could never have envisioned.

Peter’s message to Cornelius was that through his resurrection Jesus has been constituted as the judge of the living and the dead. As NT Wright puts it, “The resurrection of Jesus is the beginning of the final putting-to-rights of all things. In the light of the resurrection, the church must never stop reminding the world’s rulers and authorities that they themselves will be held to account, and that they must do justice and bring wise, healing order to God’s world ahead of that day.”

Second, that same message from Peter to Cornelius stressed that, with the resurrection, the one true and living God was welcoming all people into his family. The church is the original multinational corporation, copied but not outdone by the empires of this world both territorial and financial. The fear and egocentrism which treats other people as inconvenient and disposable is un-Christian.

“Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise,
without hope and without God in the world.
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility..” Eph. 2:12-14