Death and Resurrection

Today is Good Friday. Even as a child, I took words pretty literally. How, I wondered after learning what happened on this day, could this be called “good.” What good comes from killing a man? By the way, I still can’t answer that question.

But the third day, the day we call Easter Sunday, remembers and celebrates the day that a small group of women (almost never heroes in ancient literature) discovered the empty grave, asked questions, and were told the guy in the grave walked out. It took several weeks for this event to sink in for Jesus’ followers.

Ryan Holliday has made a career and a good living writing on the Stoics. Some of the most influential of the Stoics lived at the time of Jesus. Later Christians were convinced Seneca was really one of them. The founders of the American republic avidly read the Stoics. I appreciate the Stoics.

We could take Jesus to be a Jewish version of the Stoics. Some people have. But the Stoics didn’t change the world like the followers of Jesus did. Why? Because Jesus did more than teach. He did more than die. He returned to life. This was verified enough that it changed his followers and eventually changed the world.

We must study Jesus teachings more closely than we have as a culture and society. We need to be like the man Jesus cited at the end of the Sermon on the Mount who learned the words of Jesus and put them into practice. But the reason we should do that is celebrated at this time every year—death and resurrection.

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