The resurrection of Jesus does not deny death. Death is not denied, it is however defied. After all, life with God is never-ending. It is eternal, immortal and unlimited. In the resurrection, Jesus breaks the boundaries of time, space and memory, not just for himself, not just for one man, but for all who believe.
N.T. Wright puts it like this: “Nothing like this has happened before. It is without precedent.” He goes on to say, the future is not uncertain. The future is now present and available. Of course, this makes it difficult to put such a reality into adequate language.
Rather than struggle with words of explanation, sit back and simply savor and reflect with me upon an image, an idea, and a thought that speaks, better yet, communicates a faith for you that is rock-solid, unshakeable and helps build a life with God that has a destiny. In other words, today, this Easter go with Jesus in whom we live, and move, and have our being.
Here is one image. One thought. One idea for Easter this year.
The image is of the painting by the 15th century German artist, Matthias Grunewald. It says it all for me. Wham! Bam! The resurrection cracks open the tomb. It explodes. Not in a destructive manner like a bomb. But it blows the mind, it shatters the expectations of being dead. Jesus is alive. And so too are we. Imagine that. Let this image fill your imagination.
Here is one thought. The tomb is empty. Nothing. But that is not the end of the story. It really is just the beginning. The resurrection was in the 1st century and we are still talking about a Renaissance painting and living and celebrating Easter today. The thought is this: the tomb is empty but life with God is full, or as Jesus says, “abundant.” Anyone want to live the good life? Follow Jesus all the way out of the tomb into a life that is eternal. Now, there’s a thought.
One idea. The resurrection does not mean my body is going to last forever. Granted I have a titanium hip that may outlast me. But my human body, as good looking as it is, will not make it into eternal life. It is not immortal, nor everlasting. Here is my idea: in Christ are given a body that is appropriate for eternal life. St. Paul first referred to us as being members of the body of Christ. Since Christ is risen—so too are we. An idea worth thinking about.
One image. One idea. One thought. That is plenty to go on this Easter. Of course, there is so much more. But you know, the important thing for us is to live it. Live Easter. Live in Christ whereby living in and trusting Jesus we find joy. Live in the peace of God—even though it passes all understanding. That just means we are living by faith. Live with hope that may not be seen because hope is unseen which means hope is spiritual. And live-in love. Don’t ever, never forget, God is love. Alleluia! He is risen!
The Resurrection of Christ, c. (1512-1516) from the Isenheim Altarpiece, by Matthias Grunewald. The Bridgeman Art Library.