A good friend watched an 11 year-old pass away after a simple surgery on Easter morning. She arrived at church and said that it was the worst night of her life. And everyone kept saying "Happy Easter" to her.
Another friend got a phone call Sunday morning from a brother-in-law recently diagnosed with a terminal brain tumor. He's 30. The man was having seizures after his first round of chemo. My friend spent an hour after the Easter service in his car crying.
There are all kinds of Easter stories out there and most of them are pretty static, dull, boring, or just plain depressing (including the one that says God needed blood to love us).
But, here's the thing: if our resurrection story doesn't address the pain in the world, then it's a worthless resurrection story. (By address I don't mean answer. I mean involve.)
I think, somehow, evolution is key to these stories. To evolve and grow, we need pain. Species don't evolve without realizing they need to - and that's painful. We need pain. I think there was pain in that garden so that we could grow then and I think there will be pain in Heaven so we can continue to grow.
Of course, our perspective on pain matters quite a bit... can it eventually make pain, not pain?. Typing that makes me sound like some kind of out of touch guru and I don't really like it. Pain sucks. It hurts and I hate it. But, it seems like there is still some important perspective that we can have of pain... and I think the resurrection story helps us get there.