Posted by: gcarkner | April 17, 2022

Easter is When Hope in Person Surprises the Entire World

On Good Friday, love embraced suffering as Jesus drank the bitter cup that led to his humiliation, alienation and violent death. All was broken, disillusionment reigned. Hope seemed utterly lost. But his resurrection on Easter morning is something brand new—a singularity that cannot be explained by anything prior. Evil, nihilism and despair did not win. Resurrection remains an epiphany, a brilliant, inbreaking possibility for change, forgiveness, reconciliation and renewed relationships. To practice resurrection and lean into its power calls us to a new level of being (Eugene Peterson). It casts a long shadow into the future.

Andy Crouch in Culture Making captures the gravitas: “The resurrection of Jesus is like a cultural earthquake, its epicenter located in Jerusalem in the early 30s, whose aftershocks are still being felt in the cultural practices of people all over the world, many who have never heard of, and many more who have never believed in, its origins…. The resurrection is the hinge of history—still after two thousand years as far-reaching in its effects as anything that has come since…. The second Adam’s influence on culture comes through the greatest act of dependence, the fulfillment of Israel’s calling to demonstrate faith in the face of the great powers that threatened its existence comes in the willing submission of Jesus to a Roman cross, broken by, but breaking forever its power.” 

Jesus the Messiah is a re-interpretation, the hermeneutic of a new reconciled humanity, drawn from all the nations of the globe, committed to bless and make peace, to embody agape, to live shalom, to shine moral light into a dark world. There is no other who can compare. He is the eternal flame of the kingdom of God—the realm of forgiveness, mercy, love and indestructible life.

Truth & Consequences  “Our task as image-bearing, God-loving, Christ-shaped, Spirit-filled Christians, following Christ and shaping our world, is to announce redemption to a world that has discovered its fallenness, to announce healing to a world that has discovered its brokenness, to proclaim love and trust to a world that knows only exploitation, fear and suspicion…. The gospel of Jesus points us and indeed urges us to be at the leading edge of the whole culture, articulating in story and music and art and philosophy and education and poetry and politics and theology and even—heaven help us—biblical studies, a worldview that will mount the historically-rooted Christian challenge to both modernity and postmodernity, leading the way… with joy and humour and gentleness and good judgment and true wisdom. I believe if we face the question, “if not now, then when?” if we are grasped by this vision we may also hear the question, “if not us, then who?” And if the gospel of Jesus is not the key to this task, then what is?” (N.T. Wright, The Challenge of Jesus)

Enactment/Articulation/HermeneuticLove is the most complete form of knowing and the resurrection is the most complete form of love. ~ N.T. Wright’s theme for his Gifford Lectures 

A new creation people, a new moral order, a new future in the present, emerges through the cross and resurrection. Love is articulated as a new, life-giving hermeneutic.

Jesus’ resurrection, by unveiling the creator’s love for the world, opens up the space and time for a holistic mode of knowing, a knowing which includes historical knowledge of the real world by framing it within the loving gratitude which answers the creator’s own sovereign love.” ~N. T. Wright from his Gifford Lectures

New Creation and New Covenant/God’s Good Creation and God’s Healing Justice: (Romans 8: 18-30) Resurrection and the Renewal of Creation, address by super scholar N. T. Wright Charles Taylor & Recovery of the Language of Meaning

An Easter Carol by Christina Georgina Rossetti

Spring bursts to-day,
For Christ is risen and all the earth’s at play.

Flash forth, thou Sun,
The rain is over and gone, its work is done.

Winter is past,
Sweet Spring is come at last, is come at last.

Bud, Fig and Vine,
Bud, Olive, fat with fruit and oil and wine.

Break forth this morn
In roses, thou but yesterday a Thorn.

Uplift thy head,
O pure white Lily through the Winter dead.

Beside your dams
Leap and rejoice, you merry-making Lambs.

All Herds and Flocks
Rejoice, all Beasts of thickets and of rocks.

Sing, Creatures, sing,
Angels and Men and Birds and everything.

All notes of Doves
Fill all our world: this is the time of loves.

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