Wednesday, March 4, 2009

On the Resurrection

Believe it or not, the resurrection is one of the mysteries on which I always have trouble meditating. I know, I know - it's pretty much the central mystery of our faith. I think that's part of why it gives me so much trouble, actually: it's always in front of me, in every moment of every day... I guess that's why I have trouble making Easter truly last eight weeks, too (but that's a subject for another post, a few months from now).

At this point, we know that God died for us. Other religious traditions have men or demigods returning from death for some selfless reason, but even there Christ is unique - He didn't get out on a technicality; he pretty much destroyed death, so much so that He extends the inviting hand of life to us all, His family.

I will, however, go into two little details of the resurrection story that bring me particular joy. The first is when Jesus appears to Mary Magdalene, and, when she finally recognizes Him, He says "noli me tangere" - do not hold me. For years, this meant nothing to me, until I was shown Songs 3:4, when after the bride has been searching for him all night and says, "Scarcely had I passed the, when I found him whom my soul loves. I held him, and would not let him go..." Talk about nuptial and eschatalogical imagery!

The second detail that I love so dearly is in John's gospel: The women report the empty tomb, and John and Peter both go running. John arrives first, and sneaks a peek in the door, but doesn't go in. Instead he waits outside (can you imagine!?) and lets Peter enter first. Talk about Petrine authority! Wow!

I know, I hardly said anything about the central point of the resurrection. But isn't that part of the point of having your own blog - you don't have to follow the rules?

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