‘The Resurrection is not only an event of the past, is not only a manifestation of the sacred (as it was with the pagan epiphanies); it is an event that opens a new future and reinstates the promise by confirming it. Resurrection is the sign that now the promise his for all persons; its meaning abides in the future, in the death of death, the resurrection of all from the dead’ (Ricoeur, Figuring the Sacred, 1995)
I woke up with the question that though good Friday and Holy Saturday felt weird this year, both of the resonate much more closely with the pervading feelings of many at this time.
or put it another way, Im saying ‘Christ is Risen’ through gritted teeth, when 5000 of our friends and relatives have died in the last 2 months. And that’s just in the UK.
Easter Sunday feels weird.
But maybe no weirder than the first one. The stench of death hung in the air. The gruesome death of crucifixion pervading the landscape as the crosses were placed back in their dug holes. A permanent reminder of death. No escape from death then, its reality real.
No wonder the disciples were so full of Joy when Jesus arose. They danced and sang , and praised… for all of about 2 minutes…
Until they walked home confused from Jerusalem, doubted it at all, and took themselves back to the fishing boat. Confusion heaped upon loss of hope. The one who was denied, about to seek vengeance? not only that, another reason to hide from the authorities, to be scared, authorities on the body hunt, wanting answers.
Questions filled the sky more than answers, but that had been the way of the journey with Jesus for the disciples until now, took them to their innermost thoughts, and let them wanting to know, discover and live in the more. That Jesus didn’t stay in the tomb raises so many more questions.
And if we stop asking them, we might miss out altogether even more.
Paul Ricoeur writes the following (quoting Moltmann), and it was what I found on my search this morning:
Now is the time to celebrate Easter, doggedly hopeful, and its ok to know that doing it through gritted teeth is more appropriate than ever. The first Easter was as disorientating and bewildering, and occurred with the same stench of perverse power, and death.