I was asked to do a lectionary doodle for Easter Sunday. On reflection I wanted to be able to hold in tension the various understandings of what happened on Resurrection Sunday. It might be news to you that not everyone understands the resurrection of Jesus in the same way..
For some it is about Jesus being the substitutional sacrifice for us and our sin, you can see this on the right with the altar and the cage. This understanding believes that our sin has separated us from God and there requires a sacrifice for us to be connected with God again. Jesus makes this sacrifice so that there no longer be a need for sacrifice ever again.
For some it is that the gates of hell have been broken down. I read a beautiful reflection on Judas playing the role that God required, knowing that Jesus would be able to break down the barriers of hell that keeps us away from God and that Jesus actually went to retrieve him from hell.
For some it is that death has been overcome and that this life is not the end but the beginning of a journey with God that would last for all eternity. Thus the empty grave.
For some it is about having direct connection into heaven and that the gates were now open for all not just the special ones. Those streets paved with gold were now available for all, Jesus has the key.
For some this is the ultimate act of God reaching out to humanity. Helping us see, feel and know God’s love in a way that has never been known before. God touching into our lives and us knowing we are seen in love.
For some it is that the bondage of sin have been broken and that the concept of grace, breaks any restraint.. That humanity could do such horrible acts to the innocent in the name of power, greed and fear yet God’s response to this, is that this is not the end of the story.
For some that evil has been part of creation since the beginning of time and Jesus, the second Adam, stood against evil and conquered it, putting it to death.
For some through Jesus there is new life. It is through death in a wide variety of ways, to ourselves, to our sin, to those things that would seek to corrupt us, that the seed is cracked open and we bloom into the rich and full life that God imagined for us.
For some the resurrection is about the restoration of the whole earth.. A new vision of who we can all be together, for how we can be together in this beautiful created world.
Hope. Freedom, Peace.
I wanted to show some of the ways the Church understands what happened to Jesus because I think that all of them offer us an insight into the amazing moment that is contained on this day.. I don’t think anyone can speak with authority as to what was going down except God, but I do think that on that day God was trying to send us a message loud and clear..
Like the women in the garden it is ok if at first you don’t get it or believe it, it is ok if you are too scared to speak the truth, God is present with us even in those moments of deep doubt and fear. But God does not leave us there. God remains with us in love until we are ready to share what we have seen and know with others.
We don’t have to all agree with what happened on that day or what it meant, whatever we understand of it, God took care it. God did not stay with God’s back facing us but returned, in a way so profound and mindblowingly, amazing that it is difficult to believe. But somehow in that special moment the world, life and time was changed forever. Now God was / is and always will be here.
Happy Easter people, you are free, a new creation, loved, renewed, held and welcomed!
Thanks be to God!!!