(Resurrection by Piero della Francesca)
Christ is risen! Alleluia! Alleluia!
And this will be the last of my Holy Week/Easter reflections, so for those of you who may have been annoyed by them, that’s one more reason to rejoice!
At the Easter Vigil last night I thought back over the accounts of Christ’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem, his passion and his resurrection. I thought about the different people I identified with: the crowds whose shouts of “hosanna” soon turn to cries of “crucify him”, the spineless Pilate who has an innocent man beaten and crucified out of fear of those above and below him, the despairing traitor Judas, the repentant denier Peter, the awed solider who proclaims “surely, this was the Son of God, the hopeless disciples hiding behind locked doors while the Lord is in the tomb and the joyful women who hear the angel say “he is not here for his is risen.”
Placing myself in those scenes, I identify with all of the above. I realized, however, that it’s not any of those people that the Scriptures invite us to walk the road of Holy Week with. We, by grace, are invited to walk this path with Christ himself.
Those of us who are Christians know, as Christ did, that when he enters Jerusalem he is headed for a cross not an earthly throne. With Christ we know which diners at the table in the upper room will deny and betray him. We know the contents of the cup he is about to drink as he enters the garden to pray. We know that he will not receive justice from his own people or from Pilate. We know as he cries “it is finished” that this is not the end. We know what those who come to the tomb on Easter morning will find.
This is what it means to be a Christan: to be made an heir with Christ and to be adopted as sons and daughters of God receiving by grace what Christ has by nature. The first Adam fell into a grave and took us with him, but the second Adam descended into that grave and rose again, bringing us out.