On the third day

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Easter Sunday


image
 Byzantine fresco

“It was almost daybreak on Sunday when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. Suddenly a strong earthquake struck, and the Lord’s angel came down from heaven, He rolled away the stone and sat on it.” Matthew 28:1-2

On Friday he died. On Saturday he lay in the tomb. But on Sunday, in a huge departure from the normal life and death script, he rose again from the dead. And the stories about this risen Jesus in the Bible are full of colourful details. They show us Jesus walking along a road, talking with a couple of unsuspecting disciples; Jesus cooking breakfast for his followers by the side of a lake; Jesus talking with Mary Magdalene in a garden.

And they show us the gobsmacked reaction of those first followers, who found the whole thing hard to believe.

In the picture above, Jesus appears as the destroyer of death. He is no longer the weak, vulnerable figure we saw in the tomb, in the Easter Saturday image. Instead he strides across the picture, alive and energetic. And rather than show us Jesus emerging from the tomb, or meeting the disciples on that first Sunday morning, the artist goes to the deep meaning of the resurrection by showing us Jesus as the almighty one, surrounded by stars, in the act of defeating death itself.

To do this, he has grabbed hold of the wrists of Adam (on the left) and Eve (on the right), roughly pulling them out of their graves. Adam and Eve stand here for the human race, for you and me, sending out the promise that Jesus offers us the promise of eternal life, too, if we will let him. Beneath his feet are the two gates of Hell, which he has broken down and tramples on.

In the words of the Easter service in the eastern Church…“Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tomb He has given life!”

image
 Meditation
“It was almost daybreak on Sunday when Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. Suddenly a strong earthquake struck, and the Lord’s angel came down from heaven, He rolled away the stone and sat on it.” Matthew 28:1-2

On Friday he died. On Saturday he lay in the tomb. But on Sunday, in a huge departure from the normal life and death script, he rose again from the dead. And the stories about this risen Jesus in the Bible are full of colourful details. They show us Jesus walking along a road, talking with a couple of unsuspecting disciples; Jesus cooking breakfast for his followers by the side of a lake; Jesus talking with Mary Magdalene in a garden.

And they show us the gobsmacked reaction of those first followers, who found the whole thing hard to believe.

In the picture above, Jesus appears as the destroyer of death. He is no longer the weak, vulnerable figure we saw in the tomb, in the Easter Saturday image. Instead he strides across the picture, alive and energetic. And rather than show us Jesus emerging from the tomb, or meeting the disciples on that first Sunday morning, the artist goes to the deep meaning of the resurrection by showing us Jesus as the almighty one, surrounded by stars, in the act of defeating death itself.

To do this, he has grabbed hold of the wrists of Adam (on the left) and Eve (on the right), roughly pulling them out of their graves. Adam and Eve stand here for the human race, for you and me, sending out the promise that Jesus offers us the promise of eternal life, too, if we will let him. Beneath his feet are the two gates of Hell, which he has broken down and tramples on.

In the words of the Easter service in the eastern Church…“Christ is risen from the dead, trampling down death by death, and to those in the tomb He has given life!”

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About this module

Follow the three days of Easter with icons, meditations and a simple walk-through prayer exercise which you can do sitting at your computer.

From Good Friday to Easter Sunday… follow the three days of Easter by looking at three pictures from the Eastern Church. These pages also include a simple walk-through prayer exercise for each of the three days, which you can do at your computer.

Categories: Spirituality, Interactive, Seasonal,

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arrow Introduction

arrow Good Friday

arrow Easter Saturday

arrow Easter Sunday

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