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.)


  • Mark K

    Wow. So right on. Thanks for the share.

  • thank you Brian. I think you’re spot on. One of the interesting points I come up against is the definition of resurrection. Folk naturally seem to turn to Lazarus etc. But of course Jesus was not like Lazarus in that he is raised through death. I often speak of the words of God at the baptism of Jesus in relation to his resurrection. When Jesus was dead and buried, God spoke from the other side of death, ‘You are my son. I love you. I am pleased with you.’ and brought him out of death into life the other side of death. The full stop (period) that is placed by death at the end of the narrative of life is replaced in resurrection by a comma…

  • Eric Ashley

    Sounds like a good fantasy seting…..In the Darklands, all manner of unseemly creatures walked under the leprous moon, gobbles, and yettruchaks, and dvinglis, and the waking dead. But so did the Children of the Half-Light, and they bore with them a special sweetness, and a power that made many of the untoward afraid, others it enraged. But as dawn came, the unseemly things hid, and slept, but the Children climbed the tallest trees they dared to catch a glimpse of the Dawn before they too succumbed to the darkness inside themselves, and slept….