The Easter Tonic


Michelangelo wrote rather indignantly in 1564 to his fellow artists:
“Why do you keep filing gallery after gallery with endless pictures of the one ever-reiterated theme of Christ in weakness,
of Christ upon the cross,
of Christ dying,
of Christ hanging dead?
Why do you stop there as if the curtain is closed upon that horror?
Keep the curtain open, and with the cross in the foreground, let us see beyond it to the Easter dawn with its beams streaming upon the risen Christ, Christ alive, Christ ruling, Christ triumphant.

“For we should be ringing out over the world that Christ has won,
that evil is toppling,
that the end is sure,
and that death is followed by victory.
That is the tonic we need to keep us healthy,
the trumpet blast to fire our blood and send us crowding in behind our Master,
swinging happily on our way,
laughing and singing and recklessly unafraid, because the feel of victory is in the air and our hearts thrill to it.”