Easter Monday


Easter Monday
Brian Zahnd

The risen Christ is not one who has come back from the dead. The risen Christ is the One who has gone through death and opened the door to the new world beyond death.

The risen Christ is not one who has wrestled free from the clutches of death to return to the land over which death still holds sway. The risen Christ is the One who has passed all the way through the black hole of Hades into the world of light and life where death cannot go.

Lazarus is a man who came back from the dead…only to die again. Christ is not a mere survivor of Sheol. Christ is the Conqueror of Sheol who has trampled down death by death.

Christ was raised on the third day. Lazarus on the fourth. But that doesn’t mean Lazarus is one up on Christ. Oh, no! Lazarus merely came back from the grave…but still a subject to the tyranny of death. Christ went all the way through the grave…and emerged as the Vanquisher of death.

To be baptized into Christ is to follow Christ into New Creation.

To feed upon the bread and wine of the Eucharist is to ingest Eternal Life.

To belong to Christ is to belong to the Age to Come.

Our task now is to seek to embody and enact that which belongs to the Age to Come.

Some things will pass from this age to the next. All that truly belongs to love will suffer no loss, for love never ends.

Other things belong wholly to the age of death and will be denied access in the Age to Come. Things like abortion, brutality, cruelty, domination, executions, falsity, greed, hatred, injustice, jealousy, killing, lying, malice, nukes, oppression, poverty, quarrels, racism, slavery, torture, ugliness, violence, war, xenophobia, yokes, and, well, certain aspects of Zahnd.

Our task as sons and daughters of the resurrection is to seek to overcome these relics of the age of death as we live in half-light between ages.

Ours is an age of half-light. Christ is risen; still death lingers in the shadows. But our face is toward the rising sun of the Age to Come. As we reach in faith toward the risen Christ, he is pulling us out of our graves.

Christ is risen from the dead,
Trampling down death by death,
And upon those in the tombs
Bestowing life!


(The artwork is Harrowing of Hades, 1315. The fresco is in the Chora Church, Istanbul. It depicts Christ raising Adam and Eve.)