Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Empty Tomb




Dum transisset Sabbatum, Maria Magdalena et Maria Jacobi et Salome emerunt aromata : ut venientes ungerent Jesum. Alleluia.

Et valde mane una sabbatorum veniunt ad monumentum : orto iam sole.


Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome: From the agony at the foot of the cross to being the first to see the risen Christ, because they went to the tomb for the ritual of anointing the dead, “Aromata, Aromata!”

The Vigil reading was from Mark: 16. It's John who writes that they thought He was the gardener. I love that. Women are so practical.

Happy Easter to those who partake. Everyone can enjoy the Tallis Scholars version of Taverner's Dum Transisset. While director Peter Phillips himself sees it all as the Christian fairy tale, he has dedicated his life to bringing the most sacred music of the most sacred texts to earthly perfection. God does work in mysterious ways.


"When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought aromatic spices so that they might go and anoint him. 16:2 And very early on the first day of the week, at sunrise, they went to the tomb. 16:3 They had been asking each other, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance to the tomb?” 16:4 But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled back. 16:5 Then as they went into the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 16:6 But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has been raised! He is not here. Look, there is the place where they laid him. 16:7 But go, tell his disciples, even Peter, that he is going ahead of you into Galilee. You will see him there, just as he told you.” 16:8 Then they went out and ran from the tomb, for terror and bewilderment had seized them. And they said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid."



2 comments:

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Gary said...

Jesus' resurrection after his death is the ultimate and defining proof of Jesus' divinity. Just about everyone knows the story, which is summarized in the Apostles' Creed. Jesus was crucified, died, and was buried. He descended into hell. On the third day he arose again from the dead. He ascended into heaven and sits at the right hand of God the Father Almighty.
There is only one way for Jesus to prove that he rose from the dead. He had to appear to people. Therefore, several different places in the Bible describe Jesus' appearances after his death:
•Matthew chapter 28
•Mark chapter 16
•Luke chapter 24
•John Chapter 20 and 21
1 Corinthians 15:3-6 provides a nice summary of those passages, as written by Paul:
For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, then to the twelve. Then he appeared to more than five hundred brethren at one time, most of whom are still alive, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles. Last of all, as to one untimely born, he appeared also to me. As you can see in this passage, Jesus appeared to hundreds of people a number of different times.
Being like Paul: When we look at these Bible passages, there is a question that comes to mind -- why did Jesus stop making these appearances? Why isn't Jesus appearing today? It really is odd. Obviously Paul benefitted from a personal meeting with the resurrected Christ. Because of the personal visit, Paul could see for himself the truth of the resurrection, and he could ask Jesus questions. So... Why doesn't Jesus appear to everyone and prove that he is resurrected, just like he appeared to Paul? There is nothing to stop Jesus from materializing in your kitchen tonight to have a personal chat with you. And if you think about it, Jesus really does need to appear to each of us. If Paul needed a personal visit from Jesus to know that Jesus was resurrected, then why wouldn't you? It is an important question for the following reasons:
•We are told by the Bible that Jesus appeared to hundreds of people.
•We therefore know that it is OK for Jesus to appear to people -- it does not take away their free will, for example.
•We know that it would be easy for Jesus to appear to everyone all through history, since Jesus is all-powerful and timeless.
•We know that, if Jesus did reappear to everyone, it would be incredibly helpful. We could all know, personally, that Jesus is resurrected and that Jesus is God. If Paul (and all the other people in the Bible) needed a personal visit to know that Jesus was resurrected, then why not you and me?
•Yet, we all know that Jesus has not appeared to anyone in 2,000 years.
THINK, folks! Which is more likely: A dead man walked out of his grave 2,000 years ago, ate a broiled fish lunch with his fishing buddies and then 40 days later levitated into outer space, or, this entire story of a Resurrection is a legend: a legend based on false sightings and/or visions and hallucinations, of well-intentioned but uneducated, illiterate, hope-shattered, superstitious Galilean peasants, desperately trying to keep alive their only source of hope in their miserable, first century existence?