Contemplating Jesus

LIFE IN THE TOMB

Posted on by Lucinda M. Vardey

 

Le Christ Mort by Philippe de Champagne

The resurrection from the dead of Jesus is a mystery that cannot be deciphered or even understood by human reason or rational thought.

During his last days in Jerusalem, taunted by authorities, priests, scribes and governors, Jesus’ particular message about destroying the temple and in three days it will be raised not only upset those who heard it but brought them to such indignation as to sentence him to death.
Some interpreted that he was going to destroy the actual temple itself, which took nearly 50 years to build. How could this man possibly raise it in three days? Others were more able to understand his metaphor, that the temple was in fact Jesus himself, but used their reasoning to provoke Jesus to save himself and “come down from the cross.” (Matthew 27: 40)

The passion of Christ unfolded over three days: from the arrest, trial, scourging, crucifixion and death. Jesus’ enduring agony was the dismantling, the destruction of all that was before. The breaking down of the temple of Jesus’ body was a suffering exposed to whoever was party to it, witness to it and converted by it. The old temple built on the rock of tradition was being rebuilt into a new temple where death was not the end but the beginning. A temple where God is worshipped through a gentle, organic, loving, peaceful movement of being that was about to transform not only Jerusalem, but the whole world, nations and peoples, civilizations, attitudes, actions and beliefs.

Laid in the tomb, still and lifeless after violence, Jesus works. In three days, the new temple was finished, this time to last forever.

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