Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Understanding the Resurrection

Sebastian Moore OSB
Our understanding of the Resurrection is both deepened and clarified if the method we employ is to re-create psychologically the experience of the people who first received it. This means to recover the Resurrection as revelation happening. The empty tomb told them that Jesus was not dead. The empty tomb told them that they were not 'on a high' with the experience of Jesus risen and the Holy Spirit. The empty tomb for them did not make things easier but harder, cutting off all retreat from the new age with its absolute demand….
The tomb is discovered by the women, to their consternation and fear…. Then there are the encounters with Jesus, which have a transforming effect, bringing the devastation caused by the crucifixion into a new sense of utter security and peace and joy, drawing into this new unity the tangle of emotions – shame, guilt, fear, anger – released by the fate of Jesus…. This is the peace and joy of a death of ego brought to its transformative conclusion. The ego-death, the emotional chaos into which the disciples have been thrown, finds its meaning and they are alive as never before….
It looks as though 'Dying, you destroyed our death' misses it – he did not destroy our death. He restored it! He made it work. He took it out of the bushes along the way, stuck it right up in front of us, and took us through it. 'Dying, you brought us death: Risen, you are our life.'….

(The disciples) had an experience of him as alive, in a way that neither the living nor the dead are thought of as alive: neither in the body as we know it, nor in the soul as we are taught to think about it. Rather, he was a presence that changed everything. He was, as St. Paul says, a life-giving spirit. And that this new life-giving presence was really he, was made known in the most amazing way: his tomb was empty!
From Jesus The Liberator of Desire (1989) and The Contagion of Jesus (2007)

Bede Griffiths OSB
The resurrection does not consist merely of the appearances of Jesus to his disciples after his death. Many think that these appearances in Galilee and Jerusalem are the resurrection. But they are simply to confirm the faith of the disciples. The real resurrection is the passing beyond the world altogether. It is Jesus' passage from this world to the Father. It was not an event in space and time, but the passage beyond space and time to the eternal, to reality. Jesus passed into reality. That is our starting point.
From The New Creation in Christ (1994)


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