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Then he said to them, "Why are you troubled?And why do questions arise in your hearts?Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself.Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bonesas you can see I have."And as he said this,he showed them his hands and his feet. Luke 24:38-40After several weeks of scripture readings containing the teachings of Jesus, Easter brings us directly into the narrative of his last days, death and resurrection. For me, it is relatively easy and even comforting to reflect on the teachings of Jesus and their meaning for my life. I feel a bit in control because I can understand the teachings and I can use them to evaluate my life: where I live up to them and where I don't.
But the resurrection demands that I lay all that aside and enter a world in which human understanding does not apply. My faith and belief in the resurrection cannot rest on my somehow understanding the resurrection because it violates all norms of rational thought. Once you are dead, you are dead. Yet here is someone who really and truly died and yet appeared somehow alive to his followers after his humiliating and public execution. How can this be?
I know Jesus spoke about the "ways of the Divine One" and the "ways of humanity." He urged his followers to think like the Divine One, not the way the world thinks. But still I seek to understand, to explain, to place in context, to normalize something as unexplainable as the resurrection of Jesus. I know this is the missing piece. Without the resurrection, the life of Jesus becomes a set of ethical norms that lead to a fuller and more complete human life, but a lot of other masters of living have done the same thing with just about the same message...except for the resurrection.
The resurrection and the triune nature of the Divine One are the defining characteristics of Christianity. I cannot penetrate either of these with my human reason and yet, without any evidence, I believe. Somehow I set aside my human need to know, explain and thus control and try to enter into a level of being that is beyond me.
Easter brings this central issue into my consciousness in an unavoidable, even uncomfortable, way.