The World After Easter


The World After Easter
by Brian Zahnd

He Who Sits Upon The Throne says, “Look here! I am making all things new!”

This is the only time in Revelation where we hear the voice of Him Who Sits Upon The Throne.

There are only three other times in the New Testament when we hear the voice of God the Father:

At Jesus’ baptism: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”

At the Transfiguration: “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased — listen to him!”

Before the Paschal Mystery: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

These occurrences of the Voice of God emphasize that Jesus is the Word of God — the incarnation of the Logos/Logic/Love of God sent into the world to redeem humanity from the dominion of Sin and Death.

When He Who Sits Upon The Throne says, Look here! I am making all things new! — he is doing it through his eternal Word, his only begotten Son, Jesus Christ.

This is what was promised in Abraham.
Foretold by the Prophets.
Born at Bethlehem.
Inaugurated on Easter.
The making of all things new!

God’s solution for a Creation marred by Sin and Death is not to abandon it, evacuate it, condemn it, or destroy it, but to remake it — to make it new again! This is what was inaugurated on Easter!

Easter is not just a happy ending to the Gospel story. In the world after Easter all things are in the process of being made new.

Now think…

Have you ever noticed that while the Gospel writers go into great detail about the crucifixion, they do not attempt to describe the resurrection…at all?! Have you noticed this? No description, just the declaration that it happened. The reason the Gospel writers don’t attempt to describe the resurrection (as they do the resurrection of Lazarus) is because they simply cannot do it. They can describe crucifixion, because it belongs to the old age of Death. But resurrection belongs to the age of New Creation. Imagine the difficulty of trying to describe the Internet to stone age people. Times ten! It can’t be done because there is not enough shared vocabulary. The resurrection of Jesus does not belong to this age, it belongs entirely to the age to come. As such it defies description. The resurrection of Lazarus has virtually nothing in common with the resurrection of Jesus. Lazarus was resuscitated back into the old world of Death. (A kind of really impressive CPR.) Jesus was resurrected in a way that opened the Universe to a world beyond Death. In his resurrection Jesus becomes the door into a parallel universe of Eternal Life.

In the world after Easter the Universe is no longer a closed system bounded by Death.
The Universe is now open to the infinite possibilities of Life.

The idea that the Universe is a zero-based closed system is the foundation of all our fears — this is the fear of death. If the Universe is a zero-based closed system, what is lost is forever gone. Infinite sorrow. But God has acted and Easter is the breakthrough that opens the Universe and drains our fear!

The resurrection of Lazarus was only a “sign” (this is the word John uses) that points to the greater reality. That greater reality is the New Creation inaugurated by Jesus’ resurrection. In the world after Easter a door has been opened that leads beyond the bleak and limited land of Death.

When we think and speak of God (theology), we tend to do so with reference to the past.
We speak of God in philosophical terms as the “Prime Source” or “Unmoved Mover.”
We speak of the God of Genesis, the God of Creation, the God of History.
And he is. But…

He Who Sits Upon The Throne is he who was, and is, and is to come.
He is the God of Revelation, the God of what will be, the God of New Creation.

God is not only behind us as the source from which all things spring—
God is also before us, holding forth the possibility of that we can become.

Ever since the Fall (or whatever you want to call the catastrophe referred to in Genesis 3 & 4)—
God has been calling humanity to move toward him.
As we move toward the Truth of God, God appears to change—
But God does not change, it is our perspective of God that changes.
(Our perspective of God must change, for it has been greatly distorted by the fog of war and empire.)

The Living God who is the Eternal Father of Jesus is the God of the Future, he is the God of New Creation, the God of New Jerusalem. He is ever out in front of us calling us away from the tyranny of the false ways of Death. The Word of God (Christ) is saying, “Come on, human race, this is the way!”

When the Spirit of Truth comes,
He will guide you into all Truth…
He will declare to you the things that are to come.

When Jesus says the Spirit “will declare to you the things to come” — he doesn’t mean the prediction of particular events. Rather, Jesus is talking about the inspiration of New Creation possibilities.

In the world after Easter the Spirit of Truth says, Imagine a world beyond violence, beyond war, beyond greed, beyond poverty, beyond disease, beyond exploitation, beyond the tyranny of economic self-interest, beyond the wreckage of ruthless competition…and move in that direction. Because that is the future!

The way civilization has been arranged from Genesis 3 & 4 onward has been according to the lies of Lord Death. But Easter is the declaration that the Prince of Life has overthrown the Lord of Death and opened a new door — a door that leads out of the Land of Death and into Resurrection Country. (Or as John the Revelator calls it, New Jerusalem.)

Jesus is the Door that leads to the alternative world of New Creation possibilities!

When someone says, “Violence and war and greed and dog-eat-dog competition are just the way the world is — it is proof that they have not yet seen Jesus as the Door to New Creation.

Don’t think of Jesus as merely the Door to an after-life heaven in a far-off place…
Think of Jesus as the Door to New Creation possibilities right here and now!

What is a Christian?
Someone who believes Jesus is the Door—
And has dared to walk through that Door.
A Christian is someone who refuses to live according to the lies of Lord Death and call it “Truth.”
(This was the “truth” of Pontius Pilate who thought the only truth in the world is the power to kill.)

A Christian is someone who has discovered that in the world after Easter we can live beyond the closed system of Death.

Let’s allow the Holy Spirit to inspire us to imagine how things can be…
And then move in that direction!
The Holy Spirit will guide us into the things that belong to the future…
The world of the New Jerusalem.

In the world after Easter Christians should always move in the direction of Life.
We are to be truly pro-Life…in every way!

As the Holy Spirit (who is the Imagination of God) shows us the things to come…
Let us seek by faith to be there now!
Let us no longer collude with the outmoded and disgraced ways of death…
Let us seek to embody here and now the possibilities of Easter.



(The artwork is Edge of a Wheatfield with Poppies by Vincent Van Gogh.)