Sunday, April 24, 2011

Alleluia! He is risen!

The Lord Jesus Christ is risen from the dead. Alleluia! Never has there been such joyful news proclaimed throughout the earth, for because He lives, we too shall live. Our sins can be forgiven, we can be reconciled with God. Here is a link to my post today at W4 in which I give an interesting little evidential argument--just something extra on top of the massive testimony of the witnesses.

If the claim that Jesus rose from the dead is not true, really true, literally true, then we are still in our sins. In which spirit, I give you (not for the first time and probably not for the last) Updike's Seven Stanzas:

"Seven Stanzas At Easter"

By John Updike

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.

The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that--pierced--died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.

Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.

The stone is rolled back, not papier-mache,
not a stone in a story,
but the vast rock of materiality that in the slow
grinding of time will eclipse for each of us
the wide light of day.

And if we will have an angel at the tomb,
make it a real angel,
weighty with Max Planck's quanta, vivid with hair,
opaque in the dawn light, robed in real linen
spun on a definite loom.

Let us not seek to make it less monstrous,
for our own convenience, our own sense of beauty,
lest, awakened in one unthinkable hour, we are
embarrassed by the miracle,
and crushed by remonstrance.

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