An Easter Reflection

I thank God every day for the opportunity of teaching history here at Emmaus. I love sharing the stories of famous (and not-so-famous) men and women of the past and how they affect our lives today. I enjoy discussing historical art and architecture, music and theology, laws and political structures. But more than anything else, war seems to be a persistent theme of history.

I’ve joked with my students in History of the Modern Middle East that they are really studying the History of Modern Wars (and, to some degree, this could be said of any history class). At times history seems like one war after another, each uglier and ghastlier than the last. Sometimes when we study the events of yet another war, I look out at my classroom and see the sense of heaviness and shock on my students’ faces. And those are feelings and sentiments that I share. Human history can be incredibly discouraging at times.

But some of the most exciting times in human history are the times right after a war has ended. I love to teach the Reconstruction period and the 1950s for this reason. Both of these were times of enormous rejoicing and tremendous potential for change. Euphoria abounded. And yet, every time, the rejoicing dies down and the potential is crushed. Social divisions continue; another war soon arises; justice is not served. Once again, we come up against the inability of human beings to create lasting peace and ultimate justice.

Easter's Importance

And that is where Easter comes in. As much as we enjoy wearing pastel clothing and eating those delicious marshmallow chicks, Easter is ultimately a day for us to refocus on Christ’s atoning death and glorious resurrection. It’s amazing to realize that humanity’s biggest war is finished, and our most powerful enemy is vanquished! Christ has won the victory over sin and death and gives us the opportunity to participate with Him in this victory. Each day we can remember His victory and look forward to His return when all things will be made right. As the old hymn would say, “Victory in Jesus! My Savior forever!

Kari McDowell

Kari McDowell has been a history professor at Emmaus Bible College since the fall of 2021. She earned a B.A. in Bible/Theology & History from Multnomah University and an M.A. in History from Baylor University.
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