From Darkness to Light

Back in 1967, my systematic theology professor, Fr. Cyrin Maus, OFM, told us that if a video camera had been placed in front of Jesus’ tomb, it wouldn’t have filmed a lone man emerging from a grave (which would be resuscitation more than resurrection). More likely, he felt, it would’ve captured something like beams of light extending in all directions.

In the resurrection, the single physical body of Jesus moved beyond all limits of space and time into a new notion of physicality and light—which includes all of us in its embodiment. Christians called this the “glorified body,” and it is similar to what Hindus and Buddhists sometimes call the “subtle body.” This is pictured by a halo or aura, which Catholics placed around “saints” to show that they already participated in the one shared Light.

This is for me a very helpful meaning for the resurrection of Jesus, which might be better described as Jesus’ “universalization,” a warping of time and space, if you will. Jesus was always objectively the Universal Christ, but his significance for humanity and for us was made ubiquitous, personal, and attractive for those willing to meet Reality through him. Many do meet Divine Reality without this “shortcut,” and we must be honest about that. Only “by the fruits will you know” (Matthew 7:16–20). People who are properly aligned with Love and Light—“enlightened”—will always see in holistic ways, regardless of their denomination or religion.

The Profound Connection Between Easter and Passover

It’s not just that the Last Supper was a Passover Seder. Both holidays are about the dead rising to new life

 .. Christianity’s most important day recapitulates Passover. Both holidays face head-on the daunting power of death—and both announce God’s greater power of life.
.. The Hebrew word for Passover is Pesach. In French, Easter is Paques.
.. They celebrated Easter on the first Sunday after Passover, as we do as well
.. all agreed on the central point: The lunar cycle that sets the date for Passover also determines Easter.
.. Passover emphasizes the blood of the Passover lamb, which Moses commands the Israelites to put on their door frames so that the Angel of Death, sent to kill the firstborn of Egypt, will “pass over” them. This image—the lamb whose blood saves—is taken up in the New Testament
.. Jesus himself is the Passover lamb, offered as a sacrifice for the whole world.
.. John 1:29 emblazoned: “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sins of the world.”
.. During the time of Christ, Jews came from the surrounding provinces to bring lambs to the Temple in Jerusalem for the Passover sacrifice.
.. “We were slaves to Pharaoh in Egypt, and the Lord, our God, took us out from there with a strong hand and an outstretched arm.”
.. The Passover Seder recalls and celebrates the resurrection of the people of Israel.
.. Most religions regard death as profane and keep it far from their sacred sanctuaries. Christians, by contrast, allow death to come into their churches.

What Does the Shroud of Turin Prove about Easter?

Then there is the latest technology that enabled the discovery that the Shroud contains “distance information,” derived from techniques first developed by NASA. Distance information means that the image can be read like a 3D map. The application of this technology to the Shroud was the basis for the History Channel’s 2010 mega-hit documentary The Real Face of Jesus? (The show will be aired again today.)
.. Hitler thought that the Shroud of Turin was the burial cloth of Jesus and wanted to possess it, believing that it would give him supernatural powers with which he could win the Second World War. Fortunately, Italian leaders and the Vatican successfully hid the Shroud from Hitler’s grasp, though his men came within inches of its secret hiding place.