Jesus’ Radical Easter Politics

Christopher J. Hale (

Easter is a call to rise up and proclaim a community that will outlive all kingdoms

“Jesus Christ is risen from the dead.” These wondrous words have become so stale that we’ve perhaps forgotten how weird and how wonderful they truly are.

The disciples’ first reactions to this news were remarkable. You can feel their excitement jump off the pages of the New Testament. After an encounter with the resurrected Jesus, Peter goes back to downtown Jerusalem and, filled with a new spirit, gives the first great Christian sermon. He tells the crowds the startling news that Jesus had been raised from the dead and is the Lord of the entire earth.

Peter’s central claim—and the claim of the entire Christian faith—that “Jesus is Lord” might seem commonplace today, but it was very scandalous in ancient Rome.

“Jesus is Lord” was a direct affront to the popular Roman slogan “Caesar is Lord.” By refusing to submit to Caesar Augustus as Lord and claiming a new king and a new kingdom, Jesus and his followers were committing nothing short of treason.

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