It does not take extraordinary powers of observation to know the world is in a pretty messed up state. The simple fact that there are people out there that want to kill us just for being who we are makes the messed up nature of the world pretty plain. But we see it, perhaps even more obviously, in the smaller stuff of life.
The overwhelming outrage that appeared almost instantaneously when the videos emerged from United 3411 is a sure sign things are pretty messed up. People are carrying around so much pent up frustration – frustration that came flying out at the first opportunity – frustration expressed in many cases as rage even before all the facts were known. The facts did not matter. It was as if everybody knew, instinctively, that the airline was wrong, just wrong. United Airlines became a symbol for the gut level feeling that everybody is carrying around that things just are not right.
United Airlines has announced compensation for everyone that was on that plane and I am sure they will come to a more than reasonable settlement with Mr. Dao. The price will be paid. But will that fix everything? Of course not, planes will still get overbooked. People will still be recalcitrant to give up their seats. (Especially as the prices for buy backs start to escalate.) Airports and airplanes will still be crowded. We will still be nickeled and dimed to death with fees when we fly, especially when we think we have a bargain fare. We’re still going to have to sit with someone a little too big for these minuscule seats, the person in front of us is still going to bang our knees when they lean the seat back, and the odds of catching a cold will still be higher on a plane than off of it. We will still hear “no” more often than we hear “yes” when we fly. The price for what happened on United 3411 will be paid, but it is going to take a lot more than money changing hands to fix what’s wrong.
So it is with what’s wrong with the world. We’re always paying prices for the things wrong. The dropping of the MOAB this past week is such price. The price had to be paid, but until the people that want to kill us stop wanting to kill us, things will not be fixed, not really. Good Friday was, and is, about paying the price. But Easter, well Easter is about fixing what’s wrong.
Good Friday is when God agreed to pay the price that we owed. But Easter is when God said, “Now that the price is paid it is time to make sure that no one has to pay it again. It is time to fix things.” The price was death – the ultimate price. But if that was the end things would just keep on going and the price would have to keep on being paid. So, God got up from the grave – the price was paid, but it was not the end. That’s what Easter is all about. The cycle of screw-up/pay-the-price has been broken – things really are fixed…
…just not in the way we expect.
When Jesus left that tomb He did not, metaphorically, make the seats on the plane bigger, the aisles wider and add legroom. Rather, He made us better. Now, before we lean the seat back, we’ll check with the person behind us. Now we’ll talk to the other passengers, maybe swap seats with the tiny little young lady across the aisle so that me, her and the big guy can all be comfortable.
This glorious Easter morning when we claim the victory that the resurrection so obviously is, let’s resolve to claim it on the most personal of levels. Let’s claim it for ourselves, thus making ourselves the agents of the change. Things have been fixed – we just have to remember that means we got fixed,