Saturday, April 19, 2014
Beyond Time and Space
Last night's sunset, a fitting end for the Friday that we call Good. Maybe an Easter sunset service might capture the glory.
None of the four Gospel writers describe the actual Resurrection, but if any of them were going to it would have been Matthew. His account of the Empty Tomb (28:1-10) has more dramatic events than any of the others. He wishes to show that the Resurrection is of cosmic importance, shaking the foundations of the world and affecting those long dead. He uses typical apocalyptic imagery to symbolize that the power of God has intervened definitively in the tomb of Jesus.
The Resurrection itself could not be described. It was an event that touched the other world beyond time and space. When Matthew's angel rolls back the stone, it's not to let Jesus out of the tomb, but to show that Jesus is no longer in the tomb.
I used to imagine Jesus bursting out of the tomb. But let's suppose that while Jesus lay dead in the darkness of the tomb his Father drew him body and soul into that other world beyond time and space. Jesus in all his humanity becomes alive in a totally new way that enables him to move back and forth between worlds. That's why he can appear as if from nowhere to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary and later to the other disciples.
That's why he can live in us and in our whole cosmos, gathering all into God and filling us and our world with an Easter joy beyond imagining.