Sunday, April 16, 2006

Joyous Easter to All

Call: He has risen!

Response: He has risen indeed!

My pastor this morning was telling the story of how the Roman Empire would put Christians to death in the 2nd Century AD - the blood and circus trick of feeding them to the lions. However, unlike the eponymous hero in The Gladiator, these brave men and women readied themselves for a different reality in the throes and claws of death. For the Christians on the inside of the ring - as the lions were released - would call out to the Christians on the outside of the ring, watching and waiting for their turn, "He has risen!"

Those just outside of the ring would respond, "He is risen indeed." This was a way to call and bring back hope for themselves, for their hope, their only hope, their life-long hope was in the resurrection of the Christ. And if the Christ had resurrected, surely they who followed him under his promise of their rising, would also be resurrected.

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"Ascension doesn’t mean absence; it means sovereignty, exercised through the Spirit."

N. T. Wright's Easter message this year focuses in on Mary Magdelene's central message of the ressurection, and once again, he opens my eyes to see some thing(s) that I've overlooked. (For one, that the climax of the resurrection in the Gospel of John is Jesus telling Mary to go to his "brothers and tell them, 'I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God," not this near comical piece of Mary getting confused and riled up only to cling to Jesus as he's trying to float upwards to God.)

Empty-Tomb by He Qi, China

I do think that it's significant that the first to witness, to see and to hear and to proclaim to others this news of the empty tomb were women.


4 comments:

  1. I think it's significant that even though Jesus himself entrusted the good news to a woman AND THEN TOLD HER TO GO AND TELL THE BRETHREN, certain populations of contemporary Christians (men and women) find it difficult or, at best, disquieting to hear the good news - or a teaching on it - from a woman (especially in a formal setting).

    hmmmmm . . .

    *******

    More importantly,
    He has risen indeed!

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  3. Yaaaaay! Yesh crip-walked right outta the tomb! You know he did a little dance, it's so him.

    I think the whole "ohmygoshwomensawYeshfirst!" is something Protestants like to keep quiet, simply for their outright ignorance of Mary (Yesh's momma) actually having a holy purpose alongside our boy Yesh. Believe you me, Messianics are no better (if anything worse). But yeah, they keep it quiet because they have to be consistent in their 'let's ignore women' rule. Kinda ridiculous.

    However this shows that Shaul (Paul) really took the entrusting of the gospel to women seriously, because he's like the only one in the NT to actually give women shoutouts in his letters.

    That's something to smile about :)

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  4. silly christy,

    Jesus couldn't have crip-walked. that wouldn't have been very 1st century AD Jewish of him.

    i though the apostle John also gave a major shout-out to a woman in his letters to the church in asia.

    for the record, i don't think it's fair to typecast Protestants in this realm. although i myself would fall into the more conservative end of this topic when it comes to women elders or preachers. yet, i'm still struggling with the whole issue...

    yeah, still don't know.

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