“The Risen Christ doesn’t float ethereally above his tomb, clean and neat and unscarred. His resurrection has been a struggle. Something happened. Something fierce and world-altering. Something costly. He smiles for he has conquered, really conquered, finally and definitively conquered the last enemy, death…
It was a ferocious death with all the powers of hell amassed against the one good and loving person who ever lived. But without that struggle on Friday, withought the pain of his loving us to the death, there is nothing to celebrate today. It’s simply a warm blanket. No struggle. Nothing happened. Nothing has changed.
If there is no death, then God’s got nothing to do on Easter. But if there is a death, then Easter morning is a ferocious moment when life triumphs over death, and what God did on Easter for Jesus and for us is the most radical and important truth that any of us can know or believe.
Carlyle Marney, in one of his greatest sermons, says of Judas that the ultimate tragedy of his life was not his betrayal of Jesus but that he did not hold on until Sunday to see what God would do with his betrayal and despair. What a tragedy that Judas wasn’t at the tomb on Sunday to see that there is forgiveness even for his sin and relief even from his deep despair. He then would have known that we are not on our own, not in this life alone. He would have known what Mary was discovering, that there is One who is with us in death and in life. Not just anyone, but the very One who raised Jesus from the dead and who has the power to do that for you and me as well.”
…an excerpt from This Ferocious Moment by K.C. Ptomey
Pictures taken at a Benedictine Monastery in Taos, New Mexico.