Dave Brisbin 4.21.19
Easter Sunday: One of the most striking details of the post-resurrection narratives in the Gospels is that none of Jesus’ closest followers recognize him when they first see him risen from the tomb. What is going on here? How could they not recognize Jesus? Is this a literal fact being preserved, a deeper spiritual meaning being evoked, both? The two figures confronting the women at the tomb give us the best clue: why do you look for the living among the dead? Answer: they buried Jesus and expected him to stay put. Reasonable assumption, but they were looking for Jesus where they expected him to be and not where he always was…in motion. 

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Life is defined by motion; something unmoving is by definition not alive. God’s spirit is defined by motion; the Hebrew word ruach means breath, wind, spirit—all only experienced in motion. As soon as we have a fixed idea about God, he is no longer there. Fixed ideas, like corpses, lie among the dead and can’t define a living God. As soon as we think we have Jesus figured out, he is not there, and we, like his closest friends need to let go of our preconceptions, let Jesus be himself, and stop the ultimate frustration and grief of looking for the living among the dead.

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