43. Easter Sunday - Pascha

The Archangel Gabriel came to fetch Jesus and me as we were snoozing on Cloud 9 and called out, "Come Lord, the day of rest is soon over and you must go back into your body!"

"Oh, no no no" I said speaking for the Christ. "That body stuff is over. Jesus did His job, and He did it well. He went to earth, lived a human life, died, reached the Tree of Life, unlocked the gate of Hades, preached the good news, and let everyone out. Now humans can be as immortal as me. Done! Finito! Capput! We are going home, cha cha cha!"

Jesus smiled to Gabriel and nodded at me as if to apologize for my stupidity, which I deeply resented. Then He looked at me from deep within His bottomless well of kindness and said, "There are still four more months in my Bride's mystical year angel, you wouldn't want to cheat My Bride would you?"

With that, I took a deep breath of fresh clean air, and said, "Okay, let me try that again. Why do we have...why does Jesus have to go back to earth. Weren't those people mean enough to Him?"

Gabriel replied patiently, "He must return for the students, the disciples, and all those who believe that He is the Son of God. Jesus needs to prove to them that He conquered death, not just by freeing prisoners of Hades, but also by becoming resurrected."

After a pause to make sure I understood, Gabriel continued, "Jesus had to bite His tongue when on the cross He heard them say, 'He saved others, now let us see Him save Himself.' The fact of the matter is, angel, that His resurrection will be His response! Jesus didn't just jump off the cross and run away, He returned from death, by the power of God."

Gabriel continued long after he convinced me, "Many people have returned from being dead, but they returned with mortal bodies. Jesus will return with an immortal body. He will show humankind the value and power of trust and obedience to God the Father. If only Adam and Eve had trusted Him, but it had to happen this way. If not Eve, someone would have succumb to the wiles of satan."

When given a chance to get a word in, I responded, "Personally I don't believe that one must have a body to be alive, but I see your many points. The humans want Him back, they need Him back. I don't blame them. Let's go."

Jesus, Gabriel and I arrived at the tomb in the deepest darkness before the dawn. A sleeping guard lay on the ground in a fetal position to the right of the entrance of the tomb. Gabriel looked over at me and then at Jesus as if sizing us up and asked, "Who will roll this rock away?"

Jesus looked at Gabriel and then at me and replied, "I see that this is a man's job." so He walked right through the rock and reentered His fragrant body. Pushing the rock out was not as hard as pulling it from the outside would have been. The snoring guard slept through the whole event.

Huffing and puffing, Jesus seemed to be a bit out of shape, which, considering what He just went through was perfectly understandable. Then He looked up at Gabriel and said, "Could I have a different body? This one is in bad shape."

Gabriel replied, "Okay, come here; let's see of we can refashion this one." Jesus drew near and Gabriel wafted his huge right wing over Jesus's frail body and lickety split He looked different, and yet it was the same body and certainly the same Spirit. "How's that?" asked Gabriel?

"I feel great, but I am hungry! Let's go over to Galilee and get some fish!" exclaimed Jesus, and then looking over at me, He said. "Angel, you wait here for the ladies who will come to annoint Me. Tell them to tell my students to meet me in Galilee. By the way angel, make yourself visible, okay?" With that Jesus and Gabriel rushed off and abandoned me. I sat on the marble tombstone and thought and thought about how to materialize. I knew I didn't have much time because the ladies would come soon to anoint Jesus again. After fretting about my predicament, I suddenly realized that this was God's problem more than mine, so I prayed. "Heavenly Father, please let me materialize so I can announce to the women that Jesus is alive."

Before the last word came out of my heart, there I was all shiny with a long white robe! Just at that moment I heard the ladies approaching the tomb, so I sat up straight and looked like I was expecting them. I heard one woman say, "Who will roll away the stone from the door of the tomb for us?"

Then I heard three loud gasps. When the ladies entered my tomb, I could tell that they were terrified so I tried to calm them down by saying, "Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified." Three wide-eyed heads bobbed up and down with shoulders up to their ears. I continued calmly, "He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. But go, tell His disciples - and Peter- that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you."

The three ladies left me quickly and fled the tomb, trembling with fear and amazement. I was sorry to see them go. My part was so short. I waited for others to show up so I could give a repeat performance, but felt myself fading fast, and no one else came looking for Jesus anyway.

Sitting there alone again, I perceived in my soul thousands and millions of white candles lit beneath beaming faces and chanting in unison, 'Christ is risen from the dead, and by His death He has trampled down death and to those in the tombs He has granted life." They chanted it in every language imaginable and they chanted the same words over and over and over again, throughout millennia in a symphonic roar.

Back to my normal angelic self, I flew over to catch up with Jesus and Gabriel who were easy to find for their magnetism. Jesus decided that it was time to appear to his friends so He chose Mary Magdalene to be first. Mary cried with joy and wanted to hug Him, but Jesus wouldn't let her and gave her the honor of announcing His resurrection to His disciples. Off she went to find them still mourning and weeping His crucifixion, but they didn't believe her.

After that Jesus appeared in another form to two of His disciples as they were walking in the country. And they went and told the others but no one believed them either."

To bring an end to all of this disbelief, Jesus showed up at their dinner table where He found them all together. He yelled at them for their unbelief and hardness of heart. After all, He had even told them that He would rise again. It was an emotionally chaotic reunion with shouts and tears of joy, but no hugs. We were in the same room as His last supper. I wasn't sure if it was really happening or if I was experiencing echoes of the last time I was in the room, but as I was sitting there watching the chaotic reunion, I perceived long lines of people receiving His body and blood from golden chalices while holding the white candles. Each person who pro ached the golden chalice held his or her mouth open to be fed, looking exhausted but radiant. Millions of others waited patiently in line.

The Bride and Her Bridegroom were both alive and well on earth in a mystical dance with time, rejoicing and victorious. Satan's three days of victory between the arrest and the crucifixion were trumped by Christ's masterful forging through the flaming swords to The Tree of Everlasting Pure and Sacred Life with God.

Even I felt myself happy and beaming. It was as if all of heaven had come to visit us on earth for the first time since Adam and Eve had been evicted for not trusting that God knew what was best for them. On this day I learned that love is most certainly more powerful than evil with its million ugly faces. The consequences had been devastating for humankind and indeed for all of creation. Today Jesus cleared a narrow, but open path to the Tree of Life, to immortality, to life with God for His Bride who contains in Her bosom every man woman and child of every race and nation who hears Her call and answers. "Here I am Lord, take me."

With immortality in its midst, this planet is not as corrupted by time and matter as I had thought. Not that I want to stay here forever, but it is not a bad vacation spot, after all.