“We went into the tomb with him.” So says Paul. But does it mean anything to you and me? The earliest creeds insist, “He was buried.” Jesus’ body lay in the depth of the earth. This is an expression of God’s utter identification with his creation and with us.

Going into the depths of the earth like miners is not the point. The expression refers to God’s power to uncover aspects of our humanity which otherwise lie hidden and unused.

John of the Cross speaks of the “deep caverns of the soul. … The caverns are deep, because that which they can hold is deep and infinite; and that is God.” We know the Chinhoyi caves are deep and spread huge distances underground.

They are an image of the human soul and its capacity for God. God has entered the depths of the earth as a sign that He has opened the way to enter the depths of our humanity. Paul continues, “If in union with him we have imitated his death, we shall also imitate him in his resurrections.” Jesus opens a way for us. Whoever we are we are restless. We are never satisfied. Even the rich and powerful want more. We are born, we run around and then we die. Is that all there is? We know deeply that cannot be enough. Whatever this earth gives us it is not enough. To say otherwise would be a lie and we know it.

Caro cardo salutis, the flesh is the hinge of salvation. The flesh is the way God opens doors for us. The life of Jesus, who took a body like ours, including the climax in his death, is the way he transforms us.

He has given us a body, and through that body we grow and become transformed into his likeness and become one with him.

The news reader on ZBC, on Independence night, mentioned, “Christians are celebrating Easter” as a dry fact somehow similar to celebrating Independence. But Independence is a step on a journey not yet complete, whereas Easter is a definitive event once and for all. Independence and freedom can be lost, as many countries and individuals have painfully discovered. But baptism and the transformation it brings can never be lost. It is definitive for eternity.

Easter is the breaking forth – Matthew mentions an earthquake twice (27:51and 28:2) – of divine power in the body. This “breaking forth”, this earthquake, is a sign of the new energy Jesus now shares with his people. It is energy to transform the earth, one life at a time.

Easter Night, 19 April 2014 Romans 6:3-11, Matt 28:1-10

Post published in: Opinions & Analysis

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