We Shall Rise Again
by Adam Nettesheim
I was flipping through an art history book and this painting caught my eye. Resurrection depictions invite emotion, certainly, but this one in particular met me today in a unique way. The times we are living in feel like a fulfillment of Christ’s warning “In this world you will have trouble“. There’s no shortage of opportunities for anger and heartache and despair. The 1300’s were no picnic either, I imagine. This painter depicts the risen Christ surrounded by, what would have been for the artist, modern things. Modern crypt as the tomb, modern armor on the soldiers, and the countryside is likely more like his native Prague than Palestine.
But I love this…
I imagine if he were painting today he would depict the soldiers in contemporary fatigues and a brass handled polished coffin, perhaps with a cityscape in the background. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ took place at a certain place at a certain point in history, however it’s effects are cosmically cataclysmic, transcending time and space. What I love about this painting is that it shows that no matter when or where you face the forces of terror, darkness and death, that the Resurrection has the final word in all of it. There is no sting to death in a world where Christ has broke the bonds of its hold on us. No loss so big that the tomb being empty cannot eventually rectify. Whatever hardship you face, whatever loss has come upon you, whatever disease or disaster or injustice or heartache… even the horrors of death itself… though all the world crumbles into chaos and sorrow and though our very life be taken from us… death is not the final word!
Let this truth fill our hearts with a grace for those around us and a courage that greater is the one who is in us than anything or anyone that is in the world around us. God is FOR us. And if the maker of the universe, the Messiah, the conqueror of death is FOR us… who can stand against us?
For one day, as He did, so shall we all… rise again!