Having commemorated the sorrow of Good Friday, Christians the world over today are contemplating the joy of another Easter morning with the message of victory over death and despair.
The celebration of the resurrection of Christ is a time of renewal and a reaffirming of faith in him who rose to lead mankind in the ways of peace and brotherhood and fulfilled the promise of eternal life.
It is a time of subdued joy, the joy of understanding that the certainty of death does not detract from the good life and that good deeds and ideals live on and surmount even the inevitable. Easter is a sign of the infinite quality of the soul of man, and a story of hope and faith for mankind.
The cynical may discount the day and its meaning, but hearts and minds of most Christians reach out to embrace the hope that the day holds. And surely, even amid the troubles that plague mankind in this 21st century, one can find counterbalancing reasons to be hopeful.
Everywhere, millions of men and women of all faiths are striving to make life better and happier for others. The trouble too often is that the evil is more eye-catching and headline-grabbing. The love that Jesus of Nazareth exemplified in his sacrifice on the cross is mirrored in the lives of men and women of good will who unselfishly labor to alleviate suffering and promote the causes of peace and justice.
One of the most impressive pieces of testimony to the historic actuality of Christ's resurrection is the tremendous change that came over the apostles once they had wholeheartedly accepted it as truth. They were transformed from discouraged, doubting, defeated men into fearless, militant evangelists who would not be suppressed nor silenced as they carried out their divine commission to spread the word to the four corners of the world.
Christian believers are convinced that something happened on the first Easter so powerful that it altered the course of all human history, and gave to the uncounted millions a radiant expectation of ongoing life beyond the veil, which separates this world from the next.
For Christian believers, Easter represents both the ultimate sacrifice for humanity and the longing for immortality. It is not the dark story of man's depravity but the heart-cheering message of hope for a better tomorrow, even here on this troubled Earth.