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Resurrection Sunday 2024 – John 20:19-20

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Paschal Trilogy – 2024: Resurrection Sunday

John 20:19-20, ‘He showed them His hands and His side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.’

What does the Risen Jesus show His disciples in this passage? His nail-torn hands and spear-pierced side…These wounds are the wells of our sin, the gashes of our grief, the marks of our death and the testimony of our damnation…All the sorrow of the cursed cosmos is witnessed in these wounds that our Lord and God bore in our place upon the tree….And yet, seeing them, the disciples rejoice?

Yes, they rejoice because these very witnesses of grief are now borne by and proclaimed in the body of the Risen Lord, such that they are no longer heralds of horror but emblems of God’s Glory..The eucatastrophic joy of Christ’s resurrection does not erase or undue the sorrows of His crucifixion, rather it gathers them up into its own gladness—as the oak gathers the acorn up into its own majesty—and transposes them to the key of God’s own Name.

And that’s the point of verse 20. In seeing the Crucified One who is Risen—in tasting the eschatological joy of sorrows *turned to* joy and tears *turned to* the nuptial wine of the Bride’s own gladness—the disciples “see the Lord”…that is to say, they behold their God. The Crucified One who is Risen, and the whole river of eucatastrophic gladness that pours from His wounded hands and opened side into the heart of His people—THAT is who God is.

In this image, the thorns of our curse—borne in the crucifixion of our Lord—are transfigured to the flowering myrtles of YHWH’s eschatological faithfulness (Is. 55:13). The wound-bejeweled cross that crushes the head of the ancient serpent is the scepter of the Risen Lord, from whose hand waters of life and of joy pour down into the darkness of this world’s chaos, turning the rebellious, Leviathan-filled waters of this world into a crystal sea that reflects the beauty of God in the Son. Finally, from the wound in Christ’s hand opens out the Dawn of the New Creation, shaped as an ever-extending triangle since, in Him, the Name of the Triune God is definitively known by and transformingly poured out to all the redeemed cosmos.