To Christians of every sect, Easter is a real and sacred event—the miraculous triumph over death and the promise of a new and transcendent life. Although it is without question the defining moment of the Christian faith, Christians aren’t the only ones who need Easter. People of all beliefs, including atheists and agnostics, have much to learn from the Easter archetype.
Defining a sacred event as an archetype does not toss it into a pile of fiction. Quite the reverse. Rather, it elevates that event to mythical stature to claim its rightful place in human history and culture. An archetype is the original perfect prototype or design from which all like and related forms are derived. Easter is, on the grandest scale, the perfect prototype of triumph over, well…everything. Humility over ego. Health over sickness. Compassion and rightful action over condemnation and sin. Life over death. Easter is reflected everywhere in nature and in the indomitable strength and renewal of the human spirit. It is the symbolic event outside of us and within us that transcends all spiritual, mental, and material obstacles. Easter teaches us that, with enough faith and commitment, there is no struggle we cannot meet eye-to-eye and conquer.
This year, whatever our beliefs, let’s roll away the stone from the tomb of at least one crisis or trauma in our lives, rise up and move on. Flood the darkness with the white hot light of hope. Do it with confidence and the assurance of victory. This is the meaning of Easter, and it is available to everyone.