Whilst sorting out some papers today I found some scrappy notes about “Death and Resurrection”, which I eventually realised were the original notes I wrote before writing my Doctrine Module project of that title two years ago! In an effort not to lose the original scribble, for what it’s worth I shall type them out here, and also the reflection I wrote as part of the module, which I seem to remember was commended by my tutor. The images are of ‘flower arrangements’ I produced as part of the project (which I created in the form of a labyrinth).
What do we know of death?
Something we can not experience and reflect on first hand.
Our only understanding is through the experiences of others and our own encounters with the death of loved ones, which are coloured by emotions of love, loss, etc.
Those who encounter death for the first time can’t visualise things which would help them come to terms with what is/has happened.
What do we know of human death?
What do we know of Jesus’ death?
We need to take account of peoples’ different views (literal or otherwise) of Jesus’ death.
Resurrection is something we can not experience, or can we?
Many see resurrection in creation/spring time.
For others there is a resurrection of spirit after bereavement and grief – or new life after the death of a loved one (a personal reference to our chosing to start a family after we were over the initial period of mourning for my mother).
Resurrection of Jesus brought ‘New Life’.
The Resurrection is the vindication of Jesus
– it proved he was who he said he was!
(My own reflection – if you find it helpful, feel free to use it)
You were one budding messiah among many
– what made you different?
You were bloodied, and buried
– dead like so many failures before you.
Hope torn to shreds with the temple curtain.
But those who you’d healed, the forgiven ones,
walking, and leaping,
and celebrating their new lives
in the streets of Jerusalem,
Had they lost what you’d given them?
The terrified faithful of your life,
wallowing in their mistakes and despair,
hidden from the possibility of future,
deaf to your words from the past,
blind to the new creation, your Kingdom come.
And yet, when they crept out in the dawn,
the stone was rolled away;
when they journeyed home in despair,
you walked the dusty road beside them;
when a confusion of stories dared them to hope –
your powerful presence broke the thickness of walls,
brought sight to the blind, sound to the deaf,
and revealed yourself,
In those few days of your resurrected body,
You were more real than ever before;
more totally ‘Jesus’.
God in victory over death, and sin, and prejudice;
Jesus, the Son, the brother, the friend.
Proving the cross forgives,
Offering hope for all humanity,
For you, for me, for ever – until he comes again.