For Easter. I found my angle. The story is old. Old as the hills. Been used to empower and enslave.
Within me is a desire to add to the story. Something in me wants to say, "oh look! Have you thought about it this way? Aren't I smart?" And another part of me thinks that would be blasphemy. So lets back up. Lets look at John's Gospel.
By the way, as an aside, I love Mark's Gospel because it gives the most open ending possible. And how I view the resurrection story is highly colored by the way Mark's Gospel ends (depending on your tradition and interpretation, verse 8? Or verse 20?)
Anyway, John's Gospel is so rich and there is so much going on. People running around, Jesus missing - its exciting!
But its still the same Jesus. Its always been the same Jesus. Miracles, 12 stupid guys, went to Jerusalem, got crucified, rose from the dead, ascended into heaven.
Who can take away from this Jesus? You can't. To focus too much on any one aspect of Jesus is a detriment to the same Jesus.
So on the inside of Christianity, we have Christians running around making sure its their job to show the rest of us where we have Jesus wrong.
But there are new Christians being born (literally) every day who see a new Jesus. New because they are a new creation. This new Jesus - he's a dangerous foe of the old Jesus. Errr, the same Jesus. These new Christians bring new perspective. They didn't grow up in the church with my Jesus.
So on the outside of Christianity, we have normal people running around making sure its their job to show the rest of us where we have Jesus wrong.
So I need a new Jesus. I need to be renewed. If I hold on too tightly to either Jesus - the old fail-safe one or the exciting-new one, I'm in danger of grasping an idol.
Same Jesus. Different Jesus.
Same Jesus - the story is good enough. I don't need to add to the resurrection. It is a miracle and its normal and its everything I could ever wish for. Death does not have the final say - only God does.
Different Jesus - the Risen Christ attacks my concepts of God. Right now, that means I'm having to re-evaluate whether Jesus would want me to do certain things or have certain attitudes.
Is violence Jesus-like?
Do I restrict God's grace because I'm not a big enough man to allow those who need God's grace to have it, at my expense?
How much room is there between life and death? Are those two paths as clear as I think they are?
And to be specific, if I'm going to pray for peace, for salvation, and for new life, am I willing to let go of the carcass I find myself in?
God help me. The resurrection won't leave me alone.