You may recall Germanwings flight 9525 that was deliberately crashed into a French mountainside by copilot Andreas Lubitz, taking 149 with him. The Barcelona to Dusseldorf flight seemed routine until the captain asked Lubitz to take over, and when he left the cockpit, Lubitz locked the door, began a deadly descent, and the black box reveals the captain shouting, “For God’s sake, open the door,” above the screams of the passengers.
It is a metaphor for life, as Lubitz commandeers the way Satan commandeers, making us all passengers on a doomed plane. Jesus identifies Satan’s business as “to steal, kill, and destroy,” and business is good as he carries out his plan to take the whole plane with him. And our banging on the door can’t save us, but we do it anyway, through religion, spirituality, or moral striving, but the door will not budge.
Without intervention, we’re doomed, or as the Bible puts it, we’re all sinners, and the consequence of sin is death. But there’s good news, not for flight 9525, but for you and me, because one has intervened, giving himself in our place. Jesus offers himself to Satan – the one for the many – and Satan delightfully believes that in killing Jesus, God’s end has come and darkness has triumphed.
That dark triumph seems certain as Jesus is lowered from the cross, and his followers go into hiding. But two women, both named Mary, are determined to give Jesus’ body a burial anointing, so they head to the tomb at sun-up on the third day. They wonder how they will remove the entrance stone, but when they arrive they are surprised to find the stone rolled away.
When they enter the tomb, two radiant angels sit where Jesus had been laid, and the women fall to the ground in fear. It is then that one of the angels speaks the words that divide both history and eternity: “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here; he is risen!”
The plane we are on is rushing toward the mountainside; our efforts to save ourselves are in vain, but when we hear this news from the tomb, that the one who died for us has come back to life, it confirms his victory – and ours! He offers us forgiveness and new life as we receive this risen Savior into our lives!