Sunday, April 24, 2011

Holy, Holy, Holy...Alive!

Jesus has overcome
And the grave is overwhelmed
The victory is won
He is risen from the dead!
(Chris Tomlin)

Jesus has overcome and the grave has been overwhelmed. The Gates of Hell have been unhinged, its locks burst full open. Yet His body lies behind the stone.

The Overwhelmer is held secure by burial clothes. All is silence. But something is noticeably absent from this particular tomb. The reek of death had been so strong a few days ago that even spice scented linen did not spare the senses of those gentle hands interring Him. There had been no time for a full anointing. Flesh began to die with the first tearing lash. Now not a trace of decay can be detected.

Still, does one third of the Godhead really lie dead, held in silence by borrowed walls of stone? Where is the power, the magic that saved others? No sound escapes. There are no visible exits from this womb of death.

There has been no water turned to wine this Sabbath. The fish baskets are empty. The lepers still hide themselves and the dead remain so. No storms have been silenced. Nets lay untouched. The King of the Jews lies beaten, crucified and without breath. It is finished. Did He not say so Himself? He has gone the way of the Baptist.

What did He say about the third day? Destroy this temple and on the third day...

There is a terrible stillness like a hand clasped over a scream. A sound begins. A groan barely on the edge of human hearing. The earth is in labor bearing down hard. A deep humming comes from rocks and walls-vibrating at the frequency of newly formed stars. Flash blinding-clean scours the air in the tomb. Now dim silence. Earth breathing in half-light.

A cloud is forming in the space where His body rests. A pool fills beneath Him clear as crystal, completely still. Sapphire and emerald webs of lightening now reflected there. Eyes. Eyes everywhere. Wings overspread His inanimate figure chanting low... Holy, Holy, Holy!

Presence suffuses this otherwise lightless world with radiant warmth. Like a shower of crystal rain, power and strength saturate the burial clothes freeing crusty flesh from fabric, closing some wounds, preserving others.

Light as sunlight through branches dapples His feet nibbling its way up. Flesh is warming, stretching. It has reached His hands. They are pierced but beautiful under the cloth. The cloth itself melts away but is not consumed. Light falls upon His open side to a sound the wind makes rushing down a mountain side.

Frankincense. The ever glowing space is awash in royal perfume.

The light is on His face and His features are transformed. The battered and bruised evidence of man's unkindness has been smoothed away. His eyes are fully open now and for a moment they are filled with the green mist of the ocean and the pure blue of a cloudless sky before they return of the color of rich brown earth.

His hair is sable full of tiny embers. The terrible bloody matting is a memory. He stands on wounded feet under His own power. Lungs breathing air He steps forward and owns His life again. Holy, Holy, Holy...Alive!

The ground is shaking, the stone is moving and God's love is escaping the tomb. God's perfect Lamb has become a force of terrible, obedient beauty. Death cannot stand before such a Lamb. Hell has been raided. The breech has been closed. Jesus has triumphed. He is risen just as He said. Overwhelming Death has been overwhelmed by His Cross of Love and the Resurrection of amazing second chances. He has died and raised Himself up and not only Himself but all those who call upon His Name.

The stone has been rolled away. Mary, her own side pierced, will be waiting. Peter will need restoring. Thomas will need convincing. The world will need saving. He was born for this, to bring Himself back from the dead and to bring our souls, hopes and dreams back to pulsing, breathing life. The Third Day. The sun will not set on such a day.

Christ the Lord is risen today,
Sons of men and angels say,
Raise your joys and triumphs high,
Sing, ye heavens, and earth reply,

Love's redeeming work is done,
Fought the fight, the battle won,
Death in vain forbids Him rise,
Christ has opened Paradise,

Surely He has brought us from death to life.

It is a new day!

All our stones be rolled away!

He is Risen as He said. Matthew 28:6

1 comment:

  1. The beauty of His holiness! Yes! Holy, holy, holy...we adore You, Jesus!