Thursday, May 5, 2011

More of a God - Less of a Man

I just began to teach a new class at Highlands - a new Wednesday noon Bible Study. (FYI: the class I was teaching on Genesis has been going on for almost 50 weeks, since fall of 2010, so it was probably time for a change). The class is called, "The Final Forty: Jesus' Final Forty Days On Earth." The idea for the class is clearly not one that is unique to me, though what I am learning is quite exciting. What I am trying to explore are the differences and the similarities between the pre-Easter (resurrection) Jesus and the post Easter (resurrection) Jesus. Again, what I have found is striking!

The Jesus that presents himself prior to Easter (particularly in the book of Mark), is quite human. The pre-Easter Jesus displays more emotion ("Jesus wept"), He gets angry, He eats food, He has the ability to be tempted, he feels pain. The pre-Easter Jesus seems, strangely, more temporal, more tangible, more fleshy.

The Jesus that we see after Easter (after the resurrection) seems to be the opposite. He seems less concrete, more wispy, more Spirit-imbued. The Jesus of the post resurrection is;
* Often incognito or unrecognized (as a gardener or a fellow traveler on a dusty desert road)
* He seems to slip between time and space more easily - between heaven and earth, between Galilee and Jerusalem, through open spaces and walls, with more dexterity and ease. There is an etherial quality to Jesus ("do not touch me, I have not gone to my Father yet...").

In short, the post Easter Jesus seems more God-like.

Of course, both the pre-Easter Jesus and the post-Easter Jesus are One. They are unified, they are consolidated and they are integral to our faith (fully human-fully God). They are, it goes without saying, the same person through and through. Truthfully, I find the post-Easter Jesus a little more comforting for my own personal, daily walk with God. If Jesus was capable of emerging on a desert road to two strangers, having a conversation with them, and then disappearing before their very eyes, he also has the ability to show up, un-announced in my life. If Jesus was capable of walking through walls in an upper room, with the 11 disciples, he is also able to walk through the walls that I continue to put up and erect between me and God, and me and others. If Jesus was capable of floating between heaven and earth, even as he ascended into heaven, He is also able to descend from heaven into my own fallen world, whenever I pray to Him.

All For Now,

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