These days the Latino Ministries office of American Baptist Home Mission Societies is immersed in the coordination of a program titled “From the Crucifixion of Jesus to the Resurrection of Christ,” which Dr. Samuel Pagán will present. The goal of this program is to provide refreshing Bible studies and ideas for Easter sermons.

Working on this project has brought to mind the question: What do I see when I look at the cross today? People who witnessed this event more than 2,000 years ago had various points of view. The disciples watched their leader leave. Mary saw her son being killed. Some just saw another crucifixion more. The crucified thief saw forgiveness and hope. The Pharisees saw how a riot that violated peace with the Romans was eliminated. Jesus saw his task accomplished.


But when today, in February 2021, I look at the cross, what do I see? What contextual meaning can I attribute to that cross? What is Jesus delivering on Golgotha? When I look at the cross, I see all the women killed for the simple fact of being women. I see hundreds of thousands of women in the world who are treated like property.

Along with them, I see people from the LGBTQQI community who are murdered and persecuted for their gender identity. I also see all the people who were murdered, discriminated against, or oppressed because of their skin color. Tears cloud my vision when I see children who are mistreated, abused, and victims of war. On the cross, I see how Jesus carries in his body the accumulated hatred of everything different in the same way that he carries all our sins.

The cross brings to my mind and heart all those atrocities that Jesus carried. But I can’t just stare at the cross. I cannot stay in the moment when death and darkness are conquered. Whenever I look at the cross, I must also look at the empty tomb. With the resurrection of Christ, I know that there is hope—that the light conquered the darkness. The empty tomb is the hope that another world is possible. There we see the power of God manifest.

As of this writing, 2.24 million people have died from COVID-19; of these, 460,000 have died in the United States and Puerto Rico. Yesterday my heart was greatly saddened because the mother of a co-worker died. It was not because of COVID-19, but this pandemic prevented my co-worker from sharing closely with her mother in the last year of her life. Also, more than 4 million people have lost their jobs in the United States and Puerto Rico. These are sad and dark moments for all these people and their families. Where is the empty tomb?

I would like to say that the empty tomb lies in discovering the vaccine and hoping that, in a few months, the situation will improve. But the data show that immigrants and minorities receive the vaccine on a smaller scale than white people in New York[1]. I do not doubt that this occurs in all states. Likewise, developing countries are beginning to receive their first vaccines in February and March 2021, long after the world powers.

The light seems to shine first and best on the possessors of wealth, while the dispossessed receive the crumbs destined for the dogs. This is how the world system works, but not so the love of God. In the example of Jesus, we see his preferential option for the poor, for the dispossessed, for the marginalized. The empty tomb today must be the church governed by the example of Jesus. It must not sell itself to a system based on the sin of greed. Church, let us be light in the world and walk with the dispossessed; let us be their voice and fight for a just world where the Kingdom of God is evident.

The program “From the Crucifixion of Jesus to the Resurrection of Christ” will be offered online on Saturdays, February 27, March 6, 10, and 16 from 4 to 5 p.m. EST. Interested persons can register at the following link: