Ben Harper

Jesus Year: Resurrection

One of the ideas I’ve always liked best about the story of Jesus’s resurrection is that he didn’t just die and then rise again after three arbitrary days. Rather, it’s that on an ontological level, Jesus had life itself within him. He was life concentrated, and that was the great secret, the Coyote trick.

They say the only way to conquer death was to go into death. To drink it to its dregs until you fell into the cup and were subsumed, and to anyone else, any ordinary being, this would have been the end. But Jesus had a spark within him that was the spark that powered the world; he was its source, the living word which God is in a constant state of speaking, whose sustained note hovers in the air and creates the world continuously as it sings: granting to us this tenuous existence we have, as tenuous and as steady as a song.

So God didn’t have to raise Logos from the dead. God didn’t wait a while, look at the clock and say, “Well, I suppose that’s about right then, isn’t it?”

It just so happened, rather, to take three days for the overwhelming force of life within the man’s body to build up pressure and burst the cage of death to pieces. He came back with the keys. He conquered death by becoming it, by not forgetting who he was when he was lost in it, by letting the truth of who he was be as radiant as the sun, uncontainable light; all it takes is time and it will burst out in a big bang that sets the whole universe spinning into motion.

The story is there for the taking. This is what it means to let Jesus live in one’s heart. We die all the time: that’s life. There are a lot of living hells to go through. May we also know the power of resurrection.

This is my prayer. In pain, may we reach. In darkness, may we take refuge. May the life of Jesus be life inside us, and may our cage collapse. May his mother-power bear us up from the warm womb earth; may we rise.