“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. -Isaiah 55:8
I believe scripture was not given to us as a cookbook, but more like a song or a poem–its meaning is not obvious. We are challenged to read, think, meditate, and through those, let God speak to each of us personally.
Recently, I pondered, what happened between the time Jesus died and the time Mary Magdalene discovered that His tomb was empty? We’ll never know for sure–at least while we’re still in this life.
Did His body lie there until Easter morning while his spirit experienced death as humans do? It’s possible, since Jesus was not only here to teach us, but also to experience human life first hand. Did this include all aspects of death? Jesus knows us not only by omniscience, but also by experience. When praying we dare not say, “You just don’t understand!”
Did His spirit, separated from his body return to Heaven? Also possible (as all things are to God), but I don’t find any reference that even obliquely hints at this. Instead, scripture seems to allude to the Ascension was His first return to Heaven.
Did His spirit merely rest along with His body? His human body was broken. He was divine, but still human. Would his human soul be weary? Most of us have experienced spiritual weariness and Jesus may have allowed the human side of his spirit experience what any human would have felt after such a death.
Thinking about the question made me feel just a tiny bit closer to Him. I don’t need to know exactly what happened. Whatever Jesus did was the right thing for both Heaven and Earth.
Holy Saturday, Jesus’ body has been laid in the tomb. I don’t usually think much about Holy Saturday—it’s kind of the runt of the litter—the unappreciated day of Holy Week.
On Holy Saturday, was Christ aware of His body lying there? I’ve always felt that at death I will discard my body like the first stage of a rocket and launch the next stage. But Jesus wasn’t moving on just yet. When the Risen Christ revealed himself to Mary Magdalene the next day, He told her not to hold onto Him because He had not yet ascended to the Father. If He was aware of his body in the tomb, was he glad for the quiet after the screams of the crowd, first praising him then demanding His death? Was the cool comforting after hours on the cross in the scorching heat?
On Holy Saturday, the Apostles, as far as we know, were busily doing the only logical things—running and hiding from the authorities, frightened, confused, and bewildered.
And what about the Jews who had demanded His death? Did they go home to a pleasant celebration of the Passover Feast as if this was just a normal event? What about the Roman officials and soldiers who knew the whole event was bogus with an illegal overnight kangaroo court? One of the soldiers had been shown the truth and had proclaimed that, “Surely this was the Son of God.” Did Pilate resent being played for a patsy by the Jews, forced to do their bidding even though as governor he was supposed to be the one in charge.
How many had second thoughts and regrets once the mob mentality had passed? How many asked, “What have I done?”
How many didn’t.
And one last thought. I am amazed at places where I unexpectedly find God, one of which seems at least semi-appropriate for today. In the Harry Potter series, Harry and Hermione find Harry’s parents’ gravesite. Included on the stone is the inscription:
“The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.”
which plays in integral part in the plot. It is also a quote from 1 Corinthian 15:26 recounting how Jesus conquered death.
Posted in Culture, History, Holidays, People, Philosophy, Religion
Tagged Christianity, Easter, Holy Saturday, Holy Week, Jesus, resurrection
If you have followed my blog for a while, you may remember that during Lent I listen to “Jesus Christ Superstar.” Although it’s an artistic musing, it does cause me to think of my scripture reading from a different perspective. In the recording, Judas asks why Jesus came, “in such a backward time in such a strange land.” He goes on to say, “If you’d come today, you’d have reached a whole nation. Israel in 4 BC had no mass communication.”
It’s a fair question, and I pondered it for a while and arrived at an answer that at least makes sense to me.
I think that Jesus’ aim was to inspire, teach, challenge, and demand that we take things into our own hands and do God’s work. It is up to us to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and perform such works in His name and to give glory to the Father.
But what if He had chosen today? I suspect for a while He would be the top story on the news and a meme on the internet. But would we take Him any more seriously? Personally I doubt it. Besides, in a few days some other story would have pushed him out of the limelight.
It was within His power to solve all our problems – disease; poverty; everything. Instead, He solved the biggest problem – our separation from God.
The rest is up to us, but don’t worry. He taught us how.
Posted in Arts, Celebrity, Communications, Culture, Education, Friends, History, Holidays, Leadership, Media, Music, Philosophy, Religion, Technology, Television
Tagged Christ, Easter, Jesus, Lent, Superestar
Church of the Holy Sepulchre
In the Old Testament, God the Father rested from Creation on the seventh day.
I suspect that it was no coincidence that after His death, Jesus His Son also rested on the seventh day.
God always shows us how His plan flows together in such a beautiful manner.
Posted in Blog, Communications, Culture, Family, Friends, History, Holidays, Leadership, People, Philosophy, Religion
Tagged Bible, Christ, Christianity, crucifixion, Easter, God, Holy Saturday, Holy Week, Jesus, New Testament, Old Testament, Religion and Spirituality, resurrection