Who Am I?

Jesus Creed 30 – At the Tomb with Jesus

Posted: October 27th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: The Jesus Creed | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord you God with all your heart,
with all your soul,
with all your mind, and with all your strength.
The second is this: Love your neighbor as yourself.
There is no commandment greater than these.

This is a series of reflections on Scot McKnight’s book, The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others. It’s a book I unequivocally recommend for anyone. Each chapter opens with recommended Gospel readings. The readings for this chapter are: Matthew 28:1-10; Luke 24:13-35; John 20-21.

I think we tend to forget what a total and complete disaster the tomb was for Jesus’ followers. Scot explores that to some extent and relates it back to our experiences of loss. After disaster, we can still find new life. The tomb proved that. Scot draws a central point from it.

If we participate in Jesus’ resurrection by owning his story as our story, we find hope.

Let that sink in. We have hope through the resurrection or not at all. Paul says exactly the same thing. But I’m not convinced that’s truly where Christians today place their hope. I would rather be wrong, but I don’t think I am.

Jesus’ life, from front cover to back cover, including the dust jacket, is a life shaped by the Jesus Creed. He learned the Shema from his father and mother; he amended it for his followers in the shape of the Jesus Creed. Most importantly, he lived it. We are called to participate in that very life, for it is that resurrected life that can form our lives.

In Baptism we have died and are risen again with Christ. We proclaim that when Christ came out of that tomb, he healed our nature such that it is no longer the nature of man to die. Without the Resurrection, Christianity has nothing of meaning or value to offer. Without the Resurrection, it’s ridiculous to live as Christians ought to live. But if it’s true, it changes everything and speaks to every aspect of our lives. It’s as simple and as radical as that.

4 Comments on “Jesus Creed 30 – At the Tomb with Jesus”

  1. 1 Dana Ames said at 6:31 pm on October 27th, 2010:

    In the Liturgy of St John Chrysostom, just after the Great Entrance, the gifts are placed on the altar, and while the choir is finishing the Cherubic Hymn, the priest prays:

    In the tomb with the body and in hell with the soul; in paradise with the thief, and on the throne with the Father and the Spirit, wast Thou, O boundless Christ, filling all things. Bearing life and more fruitful than paradise, brighter than any royal chamber: Thy tomb, O Christ is the fountain of our resurrection!


  2. 2 Scott said at 5:17 am on October 28th, 2010:

    Thanks for adding that connection. I’ve also heard that the observance of Great and Holy Saturday in Orthodoxy is markedly different than what has come to be common practice here — assuming you’re in a church that observes it at all, of course.

  3. 3 Dana Ames said at 3:08 pm on October 28th, 2010:

    Well, “common practice” here is pretty much nothing unless you’re in a liturgical church, and then it’s usually only something in the evening, possibly with baptisms.

    I’ve had two Orthodox Holy Weeks now. It’s all pretty much unified as “one thing”, and even more so starting Holy Thursday evening, which is actually the beginning of Good Friday. There is much grieving. The icon of the burial of Jesus, usually embroidered cloth, is displayed in the center of the church beginning Friday afternoon, and the Psalms are chanted over the body all night, just as for Orthodox who have died. Time gets “shoved forward”; liturgically, Saturday starts Friday afternoon, and already there is a sense that “something’s coming”. (This is also heightened by not eating much; Fri and Sat are “strict fast” days, broken only by a “meal” of dried fruit, nuts and wine on Sat afternoon.) Matins of Saturday is prayed on Friday night. Vespers of Saturday is prayed Sat morning, including 12 OT readings that prefigure the resurrection; baptisms are customary at this service. Beginning Sat afternoon, the book of Acts is chanted until the start of the Pascha Vigil, 2330 hours in my parish.

    Before becoming Orthodox, for several years I went to a Byzantine Catholic monastery nearby for Good Friday Vespers. The first time I experienced it, I felt like I had been in Jerusalem in AD 33; my head was reeling. The sense is not as strong as then (there can only be one First Time… ) but it is still with me every year. It’s definitely a sense of bending and overlapping of time that Wright talks about.


  4. 4 Scott said at 8:36 pm on October 28th, 2010:

    Well, “common practice” here is pretty much nothing

    I was being nice. 😉

    I was also acknowledging that the Roman Catholic Church, which does have a significant presence, also has a common practice of observance. I went to a Catholic school for several years and have Catholic family and friends, so a part of what I had in mind was the difference between that and what I knew of Orthodox practice. Thanks for expanding on it more.