An Easter Message from The Rev. Sara D. Phillips

Posted On: April 9, 2023

Welcome, Happy Morning! And a blessed Easter to all. The Rev. Fleming Rutledge once titled an Easter sermon “Strange Ending, Unthinkable Beginning.” 

Easter Morning

The Resurrection is something unthinkable to us, for we too often see death as the last word or the final event in human life. However, the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead destroys this understanding. Let’s put ourselves with the women who came to Jesus’ tomb that Sunday morning. They came to anoint a dead body. Instead, they came face to face with Resurrection.

Most of us know the story in John’s Gospel of the raising of Lazarus from the dead. Many see this account as a foretaste of Jesus’ resurrection, but I disagree. Lazarus was resuscitated. He would one day have to die again (could that be why Jesus wept?). Also, as Easter occurs in the spring in our hemisphere, we often hear it described as “new growth,” or “new birth.” It is likened to the new green grass that comes from a seemingly dead winter ground. But again, I disagree. Resurrection is something very different from new growth, new birth, or even resuscitation.

For us to try and wrap our minds around resurrection is hard. Indeed, many Christians find it too hard, and this is not surprising. As Fleming Rutledge writes, “In some ways, it is easier to go to anoint a dead body than it is to deal with a living God.” But it was Resurrection, not green grass and springtime that transformed a rag-tag band of disciples into a “mighty power that within a few years would be shaking the foundations of the Roman Empire.” [1]

I pray that this Holy Week and Easter season will shake us all up, and empower us to proclaim, “Alleluia! Christ is Risen!"


Rev. Sara D. Phillips


1. Rutledge, Fleming. The Bible And The New York Times. Eerdmans: Grand Rapids, 1998.

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