April 12, 2007

The Risen One

I love the Scriptural accounts of the Risen Lord. I love them because they don't make anything very clear, and it seems like they keep us guessing on purpose.

What, exactly, do they mean by this Risen Lord who appears to disciples, apostles, five hundred brothers at once, etc.?

First of all, the extremes are thrown out. He's clearly not exactly a physical person like ourselves, or a resuscitated corpse like Lazarus. He didn't return to the same existence he had before. He goes through walls, appears and disappears out of and into thin air. He's purposely visible to some but not to others.

On the other hand, he's not a ghost. He eats with his disciples, breathes on people, allows himself to be touched.

The Resurrection is an eschatological event. In the traditions of Israel it was to be part of the end of time. For the disciples of Jesus, this end of time (in the sense of both purpose and terminus) came breaking forth backwards into history. And they experienced this event as utterly continuous with the human being Jesus Christ whom they had known personally.

As if an utterance like that make things more clear.

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