Last week we asked what kind of king “triumphs” by letting himself and his movement be utterly destroyed. We reconsider that question this week, as the Marys, Joanna, and the other women hear the words of the angels, “He is not here. He is risen!” What greater victory is there than to be utterly destroyed by your enemies, and then to reemerge as alive and powerful as ever? What greater king could there be than one who defeats his enemies not by destroying them, but by letting them defeat him and living to invite them into his kingdom?
After that kind of victory, under the leadership of that kind of king, we make sense of the ways Jesus announced and demonstrated his kingdom: a new reality taking root and flourishing inside the old one, where rightness is restored again and again. A kingdom that can be assailed by the greatest powers and authorities of the earth, and even be destroyed, but will never be eradicated. A kingdom that, ultimately, will prevail over all others. Because its king is on the loose and has defeated death itself.