Jesus is dead, I said in my Easter Sunday blog post. I believe in natural laws, I said.
Seas don’t part with the wave of a stick even if your name is Moses. The sun doesn’t stand still even if your name is Joshua. And dead bodies don’t resurrect even if your name is Jesus.
Jesus was crucified, dead, and buried. Period.
A reader disagreed.
God created natural laws. God can override them, he said. God created the world out of nothing. God can easily resurrect a corpse. After all, with God all things are possible.
Well, if that’s the case, I replied, can God make a stone so heavy that God can’t lift it? If God can’t make such a stone, or if God can make such a stone, but not lift it, then with God all things are not possible.
Now that’s a real brain teaser, a conundrum, and perhaps a Zen Buddhist koan. But it’s also sophomoric. (Sorry, I was a philosophy major!)
My retort may sound sophisticated, but it’s really sophistic. And it’s a red herring. The real questions are: Did Jesus’s body resurrect, and is that body somewhere out there waiting to return to earth?
I don’t believe Jesus arose from the dead. But I believe something did arise in the wake of his death.
A story arose. A story of love. No doubt about that. You can read it in the gospels. You can hear it in a thousand songs.
I love to tell the story of Jesus and his glory, of Jesus and his love.
And when you hear that hymn sung in a Black church and see tears streaming down faces, you know that story’s true, despite the lack of empirical evidence.
It satisfies my longing like nothing else can do.
It’s a story of courage.
Love one another as I have loved you. Love your enemies even if it kills you.
It’s a story of hope.
Love never dies. It may be beaten down, but it always gets back up.
In the wake of Jesus’s death a body arose, a body of people. No doubt about that. It welcomed all, fed the hungry, healed the sick, clothed the naked, and practiced nonviolent resistance to evil.
And then something happened.
It was coopted.
Still, that story of love lives on in the hearts of many.
And in many a song.
See Paula’s photo “Bluebell Forest” on the home page. Posted April 18