April 3, 2010
the strangeness of Easter
“Theologies” of Easter only do their job, perhaps by their very theoretical untidiness, by their capacity to point back towards the disorienting “He is not here” of the very first Easter witness; back to the confusing narratives and the frustrating impossibility of pinning down and defining “the” Easter experience. . . .
The cross ceases to be an ideological weapon when it is recognized not only as mine but as a stranger’s; and it is the stranger whom we meet on Easter morning. To stop with Good Friday is to see the crucified simply reflecting back to me my own condition and even to remember the crucified, in the superficial sense, can merely leave us with a martyr for our cause. The women come on Easter morning to look for the corpse of a martyr and the find a void. If we come in search of the “God of our condition” at Easter, we shall not find him. . . . Holy Week may invite us to a certain identification with the crucified, Easter firmly takes away the familiar “fellow sufferer.” It does not even allow him to be a consoling memory, a past hero; he is not here because he is risen, because his life continues and is not to be sealed off with a “martyr’s” death. There is at Easter no Christ who simply seals our righteousness and innocence, no guarantor of our status, and so no ideological cross.
~ from Resurrection by Rowan Williams