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Friday, March 21, 2008

Eternity opens


Resurrection, 9 x 12" Mixed media on paper
(paper, oil pastel, gold leaf, turpenoid)

Have you ever wondered what happened at the moment of Christ's resurrection? Many people doubt that anything happened at all on Easter morning - that Jesus, if he ever really lived, died a criminal's death, and that was that. Many believe that perhaps something happened, but don't know what - so they put the questions aside and don't think much more about it. Still others believe that something momentous happened and that first Easter changed the course of eternity itself!

Scripture gives an account of the week just before Easter. Its easy to read over it quickly - but put yourself in the place of those who were there! For just a few minutes, be an eye witness! It is an amazing account - and it culminates in something way beyond a fairy tale. The whole story can be found in the New Testament books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, as well as many other references throughout the New Testament, and many fore tellings throughout the Old Testament.

Several days had gone by from the death of Christ to the resurrection. It was a dismal time of confusion and grief. His closest friends really didn't understand anything. His body had been buried and was under strict Roman guard. Scripture tells us that very early on Sunday morning as the first light was dawning, some of the women who knew him went to perform the burial rites that had not yet taken place. Their whole world had fallen apart - and they were agonizing over the cruelty of Jesus' terrible death. As they arrive to complete their sad task, imagine their dismay - the huge stone used to seal the entrance to the tomb was pushed aside and his body was missing. But instead 2 dazzling men were there to tell them he was, in fact, alive! Their confusion was complete! They run to tell the others - probably not knowing what to think! Mary can only stop and cry, and she encounters the risen Jesus there in the garden. Eventually they all would see him, speak with him, eat with him, walk with him, and believe that the words of these men were true. Many of his closest followers would eventually stake their lives on this truth.

What must that instant of resurrection have looked like, had we been there watching the dark grave in the middle of the night? This is what I've tried to imagine in this painting. I think we would have seen a shimmering explosion of light erupt from the depths of the grave - dispelling the darkness and exposing its undefined beauty in all its spectrum of colors. Perhaps there were colors we have never imagined! This was a moment of heaven's untold magnificence touching earth's soil. And, this is the moment that is the most important turning point in all of time. Death is undone. Jesus has subdued the power of destruction by his resurrection - fully returned to life. Bringing life (now and eternal) to all who will choose it!

It can all be summed up in John's words: God so loved the world that his gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish, but will have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to condemn it, but to save it!

Well, that - to me - is the profound meaning of Easter. It is the gateway to life! What looked to be a crushing blow to hope and life itself turned out to be the blooming of life... eternal life!
What do you think? Perhaps you are one who questions and doesn't really know - or maybe one who believes that this is a concocted story that has somehow survived time and retelling.
I invite you to ask your questions - to even declare your doubts - to God himself. He will give you the answers you need. It won't surprise him, it won't anger him .... he already knows what you think! He is a God who has demonstrated his love for us (for you!) through his death and resurrection, and longs to be known to us!


3 comments:

Rosehaven Cottage said...

Helen,

Thank you for sharing this post and this painting! The spirit within the painting is beyond words. And then to read your accompanying post... it is very powerful to say the least.

I've often imagined the scene when Mary Magdalene met the risen Christ for the first time. But you have made me think of the moments that occurred before that tender meeting on that first Easter morning.

Your words made me think about all the colors that must have been there when His resurrection occurred so privately in the tomb and all the light too. There must have been angelic choirs accompanying this most important event in all of eternity.

Thank you! You have started out my Easter weekend with something very special to reflect upon.

Hugs,
Cindy at Rosehaven Cottage

Anna said...

Helen, beautiful post and painting, and Happy Easter. Anna :)

Candy Barr said...

Majestic painting! I want to see the rest in this series!! Keep on the sunny side///WOW.

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