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Unbridled joy – memories of an event that still carry an undercurrent of the celebration of our life together as we approach Easter 2018

The celebratory feast of accomplishment described in Isaiah 25 is very suitable for an entry into Holy Week, which culminates in the Three Days of Easter (Triduum) that embrace the trial, crucifixion, entombment and resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth who is also the Christ.

Holy Week is confusing to many across the spectrum of Christian tradition. Do we focus on the angst and desolation of the crucifixion or rejoice in the Risen Christ? For many it is an either/or proposition; it seems that we don’t do well in holding both/and in the palm of our hand. Consequently, many of the devout will concentrate on Good Friday devotions, choosing to linger on the pain and suffering of Christ that evokes remorseful pondering of our sinfulness of which crucifixion is accusing evidence, even though forgiveness is to be found there.   The joyful will eschew Good Friday observations as too depressing in the light of what is accomplished through Christ’s resurrection so they will pull out all the stops on Easter Sunday shouts of “He is risen!”

 

But one does not have to be split between these two approaches which are based on historical responses to two doctrinal perspectives – atonement and theosis. Atonement discussions have dwelt on the nature of Christ’s work on the cross in reconciling a broken world to the eternal purpose of the Creator. Theosis discussions are focused on the process of Christ-filled living that is transformative.  For more, hear Alexander Shaia on this podcast.

Isaiah’s feast, it seems, has room for it all!