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Eternal Easter Visions

“On a clear day, you can see forever.”

Alan Jay Lerner wrote those lyrics back around 1966, Barbra Streisand sings them best, and every time I hear them I think of Easter. Since Lerner lived in New York City, one has to wonder where he experienced the haze-free, smoke-free, exhaust-free day that so inspired him.

But most people are thrilled by the experience of a clear day, possibly after a thundershower, when all man-made foulness is washed and blown away. Visibility seems limitless. Easter is like that – the clear day on which we can see eternity.

The Incarnation brought God to earth in Jesus Christ, truly the greatest story ever told. Jesus himself, the greatest storyteller who ever lived, is the world’s greatest teacher. What he taught and what he promised his followers in the Gospel was almost too good to be true. Remember how they kept badgering him for proof – “What sign do you give?” “How shall we know?” “By what authority do you do these things?”

So Jesus gave them a sign: “Just as Jonah was in the belly of the whale three days and three nights, so will the Son of Man be in the heart of the earth three days and three nights.”

To be your follower we have to carry a cross daily? You expect us to be salt and light in our world? We must love one another the way you have loved us? This paschal mystery business – who bears the cross shall wear the crown – what sign do you give that we may know we must do as you say?

So Jesus gave them another sign: “The Son of Man is to be handed over to men and they will kill him, and three days after his death he will rise.”

It is better to give than to receive? Love is the fulfillment of the law? We must strive to enter by the narrow gate? Whoever believes in you will never die? How can we be sure that your promises will be fulfilled?

So Jesus gave them yet another sign, on the day he drove the merchants and bankers out of the temple: “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” He was probably pointing to himself, unnoticed while his hearers were admiring the architecture.

All the signs pointed to that third day, to Easter morning, when they found the tomb empty and saw Jesus risen to a new life. Easter morning took away the clouds of doubt, the haze of uncertainty, the smoke of argument.

“On a clear day you can see forever.” Easter is that clear day on which we can see it all – true, real, eternal.