Friday, April 14, 2006
Something’s happened, that’s for sure.
Something so mysterious, so wonderful, so impossible that words fail to describe it. We went to bed in mourning and wake up—well, not quite rejoicing, but anticipating, our stomachs all a-flutter. The earth is stirring below spring’s soft surface. The trees are budding, the crocuses and irises are in bloom. The pink glow of the sun casts everything in a strange, new light. We can hope again. We can pray again. We can breathe again.
It seemed like the end of the world—the sky turned black, the Temple’s curtain ripped, the soldiers cowering in fear, their dice abandoned below the blood-soaked pole. We felt the universe turn inside out and now it feels right—righter than it ever did.
In the garden, the stone has been rolled back. There’s nothing inside the newly hewn grave but an empty shroud. The soldiers are gone, their swords with them. High above the city, there stand three empty crosses, revealing the utter bankruptcy of imperial hubris. It’s as if all the power of the Powers and Dominions has crumbled during the night. It was never that powerful after all.
Some people will touch him again. Some people will walk beside a stranger and gasp as he disappears, smiling like the Cheshire Cat. Some people will eat grilled tilapia with him, on a rocky beach by the now quiet lake. Some people will feel the rush of forgiveness and liberty that only the lost can feel. Some people will stand before kings and emperors, before governors and priests, before the trappings of purple satin and tell their stories. Some people will doubt.
We are no longer strangers to each other or to him. We are no longer trapped in our own sorry, self-centered sin. We are alive, for the first time, and like newborns we try to focus on the mysterious new world around us. But our eyes are still seeing only partially. What is this new place without male or female, Jew or Gentile, slave or free? It’s not quite heaven, but it tastes like it, it smells like it, it feels like it would feel if it were heaven.