This Easter is chaotic and crazy and doesn’t make sense. Which, if you think about it carefully, is basically what the first Easter season must have been like. Because, let’s face it: things were a little bit strange in the very beginning. The Apostles were all hiding together for their lives, and then Strange Things began to happen that they couldn’t explain, other than perhaps the strange hope that maybe — just maybe! — Christ had risen.
But the confusion is definitely apparent, even in the gospels. The gospels don’t line up very nicely for their Resurrection narrative and you can’t help but get the feeling that the writers of the Gospel accounts really couldn’t make much sense of the timeline either. It was just too chaotic!
And so! For today, may I present this picture — which is also incredibly chaotic — for you and your viewing pleasure?
The title of this picture is “The Resurrection.” But it decidedly doesn’t look like your typical Resurrection picture.
Yes, Christ seems to be leaping out, like many other Resurrection pictures. Yes, there are guards there that seem to be startled. This is a very common theme for many pictures of the Resurrections!
But then, who is the man in the ragged clothes who is not a guard who seems to be startled upon inspecting the tomb? It is not a guard! Who is the other man in the background who appears to be running away who is also not a guard? Could this be Saint Peter and Saint John, discovering the tomb?
Why is the angel there? There is an angel (or sometimes a pair of angels) that appear to the Holy Women, or sometimes just Mary Magdalene, depending on the gospel account. But, there are no women there. So, who is this angel speaking to anyway? Is he speaking to us, the viewer, since he appears to be looking directly toward us?
And even the portrayal of JesuS Christ seems to be odd. Usually in pictures of the Resurrection, He will either be looking at the viewer or looking at Heaven. In this case, He is looking down at the chaos unfolding below Him. The only person who does seem to be looking at us is the angel.
Do you see what I mean? It is a chaotic picture that takes various accounts of the Resurrection and kind of slaps them together in a striking way. I can’t figure out whether I love it or hate it, honestly… it’s such a strange picture.
And yet, there is some comfort to be had by this picture. The fact that Jesus is not afraid to look directly downward at this chaos unfolding below Him gives me hope. Because it reminds me that Jesus Christ is not afraid of the chaos in our lives and is there to give us hope, when all seems to be lost.
And so, I hope you’ve had a happy Easter, even if it’s probably been the oddest Easter of your life!