(Some Things To Ponder This Holy Week)
Holy Week is something to live, to experience, but it can also help us think about God as Trinity in profound ways. So I offer here, before Holy Week, a set of Easter Theses.
I. The cross signifies Jesus Christ’s deep faithfulness to us. It is the outcome of Jesus remaining steadfast, loving the entire cosmos even in the face of persecution and torture. The cross does not signify a divine transaction. It does nothing for God. It is a real death, most certainly, God’s Son dead on a cross. But the real death is in the end only confirmation of Christ’s faithfulness itself.
Ia. So through the cross nothing happens “in God” but lots happens “in death.” Death is changed. “To die is different from what any one supposed, and luckier” (Whitman).
II. The resurrection signifies God’s deep faithfulness to Jesus Christ. It is the outcome of God remaining steadfast, loving the Son even in the face of his betrayal and death. It does nothing for God. It is a real loss for God, the death of God’s own Son, but this real death is in the end opportunity for God to do what God does… creation. In this case, resurrection, new creation on the other side of death.III. So we see that Christ and the Father are one in their faithfulness. In fact this is one of the great gifts of Easter… in and through the Easter events, we discover Christ’s faithfulness to us and God’s faithfulness to Christ.
IV. The Spirit is the continuing faithfulness of the community of those who now live in Christ, in God. In this way Christ’s faithfulness to us, God’s faithfulness to Christ, is continued in the faithful.
V. Resurrection should not be especially surprising to those who already believe in creation. If God created all that is, resurrection is no more miracle (though certainly miracle) than creation itself. If God can breath into existence all that is, God can breath life back into the dead. Both show us who God is, the one who breathes life.
VI. Resurrection is in this way much more than we suspect it to be. It is not just the resurrection of one man, Jesus the Christ. It is instead the first fruits creation beyond creation, a hint at the even greater fulness of creation coming about in the continuing creativity of God, given as it is through faithfulness.
VII. So it is given to us to “practice resurrection” (Berry).