Monday, April 09, 2007

Christ is Risen?

Christians are not alone in believing the death and resurrection of a divine being.
Long before Jesus, the Egyptians worshipped Osiris, the Babylonians believed in Tammuz, and Syrians and Greeks worshipped Adonis. All celebrated a cyclical death and resurrection of their particular god. So is this Christian resurrection tradition not built on the already well established traditions of Mesopotamia and classical religious faith? And of course the celebration of resurrection is timed to coincide with Spring, and the return of the sun to the Northern Hemisphere. And it is all too easy to dismiss Jesus as just another in the long history of resurrections narratives.

So why do I believe the resurrection of Jesus…. And ignore the story of Osiris, or Attis, or Mithras?

I believe because of my personal experience of being loved.
The Spirit of God loved me at an Easter youth camp, and changed my life: a small resurrection happened within me. I can trace other moments too – a moment when I was an instructor in a military base and experienced an insistent urge to renounce military violence and work as a pastor; a moment when I was detained by the Apartheid police and felt the deep peaceful presence of God; a moment in college when I knew the love God as I grappled with academic pursuit. (Of course my friend Dion will tell me that these are all electrical impulses in the synapses of the brain).

And yet each of these was a moment of resurrection. Because key to each of these moments was the knowledge that despite my fears, failures, selfish motives, and deeply destructive impulses, I was unconditionally loved by a Power bigger than myself. A Power described by Jesus as my “Father in heaven”. A Power that continues to conquer the many deaths in me with opportunities of renewed life. And therefore a Power able to conquer the death of Jesus.

Christ is risen?
He is risen indeed!

4 comments:

bjk said...

What you said at Becky's Inside my Head....very true......praying for all of us to be tough enough to where we are DO IT....

bjk said...

What you said at Becky's Inside my Head....very true......praying for all of us to be tough enough to where we are DO IT....

Josiah said...

i'll be honest; that post makes me feel very uneasy. i believe in the resurrection of Jesus. but if your only support for believing that is your own emotional experiences, how is that any better than the emotional experiences of someone who believed in Osiris, Attis, or Mithras? i'm sure that believers in those resurrections had emotional experiences too.

Rock in the Grass said...

I do not think that my belief in the resurrection of Jesus is in any way better than those who choose to believe in other resurrected deities. All that I can claim is my own experience. There is nothing else other than my experience of the Spirit of God.