We Are Risen!


Alleluia. Christ is risen! Since we, the baptized and aspiring immortals, died with Christ, then what does it mean for us to be risen?

Christ came back from the dead and ate and drank with people to prove He wasn’t dead. When we were baptized we put on new clothes and received communion (like Christ ate too). He stayed for forty days back in this old time zone, but for me it has been decades.

The SURPRISE moment of showing up again after being taken for dead, was so much fun, but surprises wear off fast and then you’re just at the party. What next for us after the crucifixion/baptism?

Hint please.

Okay John, what did you say in your gospel? “But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name, who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of will of man but of God.”

I was reborn into this world by the will of God, a new kind of human being, a new creation. Mmmm…what does that mean?

Okay Paul, help me out. “So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them. And He has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ's ambassadors, as though God were making His appeal through us. We implore you on Christ's behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made Him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”Corinthians

Wait, I think it’s becoming clear! Christ stayed in the time zone for 40 more days after shocking the world with His return from the dead. But since I died with him, and you too, then we are as good as Christ having united with Him at the crucifixion/baptism and so from God’s point of view we are Christ’s ambassadors on earth whose job it is to continue to reconcile people to God, the Father--with the help of the Holy Spirit. (Thank God!)

Easier said than done!

I spent all of Lent trying to know what it means to be in Christ and to have Him in me, when all along, we are not two people joined together like partners but more like one new kind of person. I was trying to find Christ in me when all along I should have picked up my mystical mirror. No wonder I had such a tough time; all of me is He. When He returned and looked like a stranger He showed us that it doesn’t matter how different we look from Christ, He can still be us, and people can recognize Him in each of us.  

I don’t mean to sound like a cynic, but how can I, a twenty-first century Christ, reconcile others to God without the healing power (God knows I’ve tried) and all the other miracles. I’m sure it would have been hard, even for Christ to be so effective in reconciling people to God if He didn’t help them out in so many miraculous ways.

Perhaps He didn’t reconcile human beings to God through the miracles. He reconciled humanity to God by sacrificing His life for them. I can’t die or be baptized again, but I can put others first and I can show them the way to Kingdom Come, because I know the way and so do you.

This is the bottom line. We aspiring immortals are the only Christ some people will ever know.  Rise and shine!

Drowning on the Cross

The crucifixion of Jesus, the Son of God, is jettisoned out of the physics of date and time in our cosmos. The illusive companions, yesterday and tomorrow, are shriveled up by the luminous glory of God in His holy Now. The reason for this phenomenon is so that one by one a child of man, a child of time, can join Christ there to be given the right to grow into an immortal child of God.

Adam and Eve were created in the image and likeness of God. They foolishly distrusted Him, and then disobeyed Him. The powerful result was for them to be flung out of communion with the source of life. They were to know good and evil intimately. They chose death and they received it as do their children’s children.

God sent to earth His only begotten Son, a new Adam, who with miracles of healing and power over nature demonstrated to humankind our potential. This Son of God was given the mission to reverse the fall of man. He had to undo, death. It is not only that His body had to be murdered, no. Jesus died; He left His father for an instant when He said, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” That instant of distrusting God sent Jesus to the realm of the dead to set mankind free. Even more importantly, Jesus allows the living to merge with Him at the only point we possibly can, at Christ-death.

This is not magic; it is mystery. Aspiring immortals enter the kingdom of God through the door of the crucifixion, one by one. As each person is born into the world one by one, each person is born into the immortal kingdom of God, one by one. No one decides for him or herself to be born, our parents and nature decide that for us. So too most people do not decide to be crucified with Christ, our parents and super-nature decide that for us. What we do with this death and rebirth as children of God may be our choice. We can live as trusting children of God forever, or we can repeat Adam and Eve’s decision to prefer a mortal path through life full of distrust of God and with the knowledge of good and evil, that certainly ends in death.

The crucifixion is not a passion play to be watched like a baseball game or an opera. It is a timeless miracle to participate in, once physically and then mentally forever.

They have stripped me; naked I came into this world; naked I am being sent from it. My dearest friends have forgotten me; no one comes to my rescue. I hear myself cry “Abba why have you forsaken me?” My parents look on with satisfied grins on their faces, Pontius Pilates both of them sending me to my death. Abba, help me! The sound of our humanity pleads with the Father. We are baptized in golden tears, drowning. We cry and wail. The fear and the pain are greater than we can bear.

I did not choose this end. I pleaded to let this cup pass from me. My father chose it for me and in my humility I obeyed.

They gape at us, onlookers in the pews, and bystanders at the foot of my cross. I see them down there, some are crying, some simply frown, others are smiling, ridiculing me in my darkest hour. I thirst and am given blood to drink.

No one seems to hear my screams. What is wrong with them! Again and again and again we are immersed, stabbed to be sure that we are really dead.

It is finished. The world is dark and still. I see children holding candles; I hear thunder and the curtain of the temple sanctuary torn in two.

Here comes a friend too late. He has come to take my corpse. He carries me like an infant wrapped in swaddling clothes. Joseph of Arimathea, why did you not come sooner to rescue me?

Look! Hollow people walking through the walls and rocks! I see my ancestors gathering near. I cry with joy! See all the people waking up out of darkness. The pain is gone, I feel warm and suddenly peaceful. 

Time stood still; there is no yesterday and no tomorrow. There is one crucifixion; there is one baptism. There is no time. The crucifixion sweeps children of God into His Kingdom.

“Or do you not know that as many as have been baptized into Christ Jesus have been baptized into his death? Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, even so we also shall walk in the newness of life.”  Romans Ch 6.