After a long journey through the wilderness and through Holy Week, we arrive at the joyous celebration of the resurrection of Christ. This is about more than the raising of Christ’s body from the dead, and yet it is also not less than that. Yes, the resurrection is evident in many symbolic ways throughout our Christian lives and, indeed, throughout Creation.
And – I will boldly say – it is also literal.
For what would be the purpose of celebrating the fact that God in Jesus came amongst us in the flesh, experienced all the fleshly aspects of this life as we do, suffered unspeakable pain and sorrow upon the cross, and died a physical and gruesome death, all very real, all very fleshly … if the resurrection was not ALSO of the flesh?
Mary Magdalene, upon seeing the risen Jesus, does not at first recognize him. Why? Because she does not yet know howto see him, even though she saw Lazarus raised … after all, raising and resurrection are two different things.
The resurrection of Christ is different because death has been vanquished, and thus, the flesh of the risen Christ – while real – is also new. Indeed, ALL things are made new in him. But we still see everything under the shadow of darkness until God opens our eyes. It is not until Jesus says Mary’s name that her eyes are opened and she is able to see him; to recognize him in his new, glorified flesh … a flesh we too shall share one day, just as he shared ours.
This is the source of our hope even now, even in our troubled world: the resurrection of our bodies one day AND the ongoing re-making of all things, now. Let us, with the renewal of our baptismal vows, also renew our commitment to listen for Jesus’ voice, so that even when we find it hard to believe, our eyes may be opened to see the glory of Christ in our midst. For the God who inhabits, resurrects, and sanctifies flesh is the same God who is always doing infinitely more than we can ask or imagine.
Download the service booklet here: Liturgy at Home Easter Sunday April 17 2022.