Easter by MSW
The resurrection of Jesus is the most radical of acts, since it reminds us that the social message of love, tolerance and equality Jesus delivered is endorsed by the Father. It also validates the fact that the Jesus who promised not to drink of the fruit of the vine on Holy Thursday, but did so after he echoed the cry of the Suffering Servant in Psalm 22 was justified by God, so that it is in his emotional suffering rather than his bloody death that we are saved - that God offers solidarity rather than demanding obedience, with a moral law that is for our purposes rather than some incomprehensible divine purpose.
Actually, considering alternatives to the resurrection strengthens faith in it. The alternatives all involve annihilation, either because we cease, we experience some kind of godless Nirvana or because we are nakedly exposed to the immensity of an eternal God in an eternal instant where we can't help but be absorbed into God in an eternal and unceasing perfect moment beyond time (which is the scariest prospect of all). Rather, we are resurrected as ourselves with a Christ who joins us in death so that we may join him in new life. You can't get to that place, however, unless you consider the alternatives. That is the difference between believing in the resurrection and believing in the belief of resurrection.
In order to really believe in resurrection, you must pass through suffering and despair - and not just by experiencing the sacraments of initiation. This is why we have Lent - to give those whose lives do not crush them the opportunity for self-mortification. If Luther had realized that, we would be living in a different world.
Monday, April 09, 2012
Easter by MSW