There is an episode of the Comedy Central adult cartoon, South Park, which I am sure none of you have ever seen because you are all much holier than me. It is an episode made in the wake of Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ. As the episode goes, the already anti-semitic Eric Cartman embraces the movie as a new clarion call for a rejuvenation of antisemitism. This, of course, is not what they get right. The character Kyle, who is Jewish, spends the entire episode in great distress and guilt over what he perceives his people to have done to Christ. Also, not what the writers got correct. But the other two characters, Stan and Kenny watch the movie and think it sucks. They don’t understand why they would have watched three hours of Jesus getting the crap kicked out of him. They then spend the rest of the episode trying to get their money for the movie tickets back from Mel Gibson, who coincidently, is crazy and acts like Daffy Duck. While they miss the true point of the movie, they do bring up a larger point that is often missed this time of the year. Passion week is not about the crucifixion, it’s about the resurrection!
We spend a lot of time focusing on the cross, and rightfully so. But we should not spend more time focusing on the cross than we do reflecting on the resurrection. Its all about the resurrection. Yes it is vitally important that He lived a sinless life, and that He died in our place, but without the resurrection neither matters. It is His victory over death, hell, and the grave that deserves the greatest thanks and the most celebration. Historically we understand this. Its why Easter is the big day! But recently, doesn’t it seem that Sunday has become an afterthought to Friday
Look back at the The Passion of the Christ. It was three-hours of the the circumstances surrounding the crucifixion, and then 10 seconds of resurrection.
Paul himself said in 1 Corinthians 15 that if Christ is not raised from the dead that we are preaching in vain. Without the resurrection of Christ there is no forgiveness of sins. Those who have died are eternally separated from God and we have no hope and are to be pitied. Its all about the resurrection.
An unhealthy focus on the crucifixion feeds into our societal blood lust and need for the extreme. This Easter season, lets take time to rejoice and find peace and purpose in the resurrection. Its not about living in the sacrifice but living in the power of the triumph of the sacrifice!