Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God. In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6: 8-10
So what do I believe actually happened that morning on the third day after he died?
…I speak very plainly here…
He got up. He said, “Don’t be afraid.”
Love is the victor. Death is not the end. The end is life. His life and our lives through him, in him. Existence has greater depths of beauty, mystery, and benediction than the wildest visionary has ever dared to dream. Christ our Lord has risen.
Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells’ dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall…
It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His Flesh: ours.
~John Updike from “Seven Stanzas at Easter”
Since this moment (the resurrection), the universe is no longer what it was; nature has received another meaning; history is transformed and you and I are no more, and should not be anymore, what we were before.
Our flesh is so weak, so temporary,
as ephemeral as a dew drop on a petal
yet with our earthly vision
it is all we know of ourselves
and it is what we trust knowing
He was born as our flesh, from our flesh.
He walked and hungered and thirsted and slept
as our flesh.
He died, His flesh hanging in tatters,
blood spilling freely
our ears can never forget.
And He got up,
to walk and hunger and thirst alongside us
and here on this hill we meet together,
–flesh of His flesh–
here among us He is risen
–flesh of our flesh–
as the Church:
a fragile, flawed
and everlasting body.
During this Lenten season, I have drawn inspiration from the new devotional collection edited by Sarah Arthur —Between Midnight and Dawn