Risen Lord

40 Names of Jesus in 40 days of Lent — Day 41

Easter Sunday 2022

The Resurrection; Christ standing in front of closed tomb, holding a flag and giving a blessing, guards sleeping in the foreground, after Dürer

For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 ESVUK

Happy Easter everybody. Hallelujah, Christ is risen.

It is always difficult to say something new about the resurrection of Jesus, to ask a new question about it or approach it from a new angle. But that is OK, there is no need to do this. Christ being raised from the dead was done according to the scriptures says Paul to the Corinthians, it was planned by God, it was never something new.

Jesus, risen from the grave casts off his graveclothes.

Christ has been bodily raised from the dead. He has been seen and touched by a lot of people who testified to seeing him. The physical resurrection, whether it was done by a transformation or replacement of the body of Jesus is the foundation that Christianity is based on: If Christ has not been raised then all who believe in him are fools.

The body of Christ was different after the resurrection. Mary Magdalene did not recognise him in the garden but thought him to be the gardener. In those days poor people who had only one set of clothes would discard them to do manual work. People working fields, fishing on Galilee or gardening would often do that naked. So when you see a naked man in a garden you would assume that he was a gardener, just as Mary did. When you see art of a clothed ascended Jesus in the garden, and you have read that the grave clothes were still in the tomb, where do you assume those clothes came from? That the story hints at nudity only makes the resurrection more real.

Early Christian adults were baptised naked and given the white baptismal white robes to wear after the rite. Going down into the water and coming up again naked was a sign of dying and being made alive in Christ who was crucified and raised naked. Baptisms were mostly done at Easter.

Jesus Christ is risen. That is the cornerstone of Christianity.  Life has triumphed over death, good has triumphed over evil, and hope has triumphed over despair. God raising Jesus from the dead is a sign that there is nothing too great for God to achieve.

So what have we to learn from these rows of dripping wet naked people?

Christ has died, Christ is risen. In Christ, we have died and we rise, we are raised for a purpose; bringing the Kingdom of God into the lives of people on earth by living sacrificially. It seems that for Christians, believing in this world, in this life, becomes our most difficult task. The physical resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave shows that God wants to be totally involved in this life.

2 thoughts on “Risen Lord

  1. Well, that for me was a new thought. Initially it sounded revolutionary, then if course it was, as you point out, quite usual for men to appear naked if working.
    What was more revolutionary was that God chose women to be the first to bring the good news. Ignored or disbelieved at first of course. But that is not a new message. Thanks again.

  2. Hi John.

    That it was revolutionary in that culture for a woman to be trusted. But that point is being made by theologians, male and female every Easter, I like to look at the text and ask questions that may not be on the list of what you are supposed to ask.

    It is possibly the way my brain is wired that does this.

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