This blog started out as a companion piece to my book, Musings from the Christian Left (excerpts of which can be found in the July 2004 link) and to support a planned radio show. Now, its simply a long term writing project from a Christian Left Libertarian perspective (meaning I often argue for liberty within the (Catholic) Church, rather than liberty because the church takes care of a conservative view of morality.

Monday, April 09, 2012

Easter

Easter by MSW

My meditation:

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.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

From the Bible where do you see that we are saved by suffering? If that would be true then Why did Jesus needed to die?

Where did Easter truly start and why are all the fertility gods being worshiped also on that day as a distraction?

Why does it for dates not follow when pass over is but follow another timing?

10:02 AM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just re read ps 22 and there is no reference to Jesus drinking of the wine or anyone drinking of the wine

Psalm 22 King James Version (KJV)

22 My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring?

2 O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not; and in the night season, and am not silent.

3 But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

4 Our fathers trusted in thee: they trusted, and thou didst deliver them.

5 They cried unto thee, and were delivered: they trusted in thee, and were not confounded.

6 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.

7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying,

8 He trusted on the Lord that he would deliver him: let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.

9 But thou art he that took me out of the womb: thou didst make me hope when I was upon my mother's breasts.

10 I was cast upon thee from the womb: thou art my God from my mother's belly.

11 Be not far from me; for trouble is near; for there is none to help.

12 Many bulls have compassed me: strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round.

13 They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion.

14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

15 My strength is dried up like a potsherd; and my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; and thou hast brought me into the dust of death.

16 For dogs have compassed me: the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me: they pierced my hands and my feet.

17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me.

18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

19 But be not thou far from me, O Lord: O my strength, haste thee to help me.

20 Deliver my soul from the sword; my darling from the power of the dog.

21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns.

22 I will declare thy name unto my brethren: in the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

23 Ye that fear the Lord, praise him; all ye the seed of Jacob, glorify him; and fear him, all ye the seed of Israel.

24 For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affliction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard.

25 My praise shall be of thee in the great congregation: I will pay my vows before them that fear him.

26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied: they shall praise the Lord that seek him: your heart shall live for ever.

27 All the ends of the world shall remember and turn unto the Lord: and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.

28 For the kingdom is the Lord's: and he is the governor among the nations.

29 All they that be fat upon earth shall eat and worship: all they that go down to the dust shall bow before him: and none can keep alive his own soul.

30 A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the Lord for a generation.

31 They shall come, and shall declare his righteousness unto a people that shall be born, that he hath done this.

10:13 AM

 
Blogger Michael Bindner said...

Suffering is why Jesus said Eloi, Eloi,lama sabacthani - the suffering of the spirit as opposed to the body. Why did he die, so he could rise and we could rise with him.

The fertility god commemorations were cultural, although the meaning of those is largely lost - they are empty rituals that children grow out of. Easter is what they grow into

Passover scheduling not quite matching has to do with the vagaries of lunar calender keeping, which exclude considerations of the day of the week that the Catholic calendar adds.

The wine - to drink or not to drink - comes up in the Synoptic Gospels in the last supper in reference to the Eucharist, which is not in John at all. Those gospels have Jesus not tasting the vinegar (still fruit of the vine). John has him drinking it at about the time he says I Thirst, which happens after Eloi, Eloi..... The importance is that salvation begis at that point (Today you shall be with me in my father's kingdom), not later on Easter, and because it adds significance to drinking the blood of Christ - not some reenactment but the real pressence stuff in a real Christian Church. BTW, I have never experienced Christ in non-real pressence church communions nor have I ever had anyone come to Mass with me from such a Church not tell me that Catholic Communion was not a dramatically different experience of the Lord.

3:38 PM

 

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