Death adamantly utters ‘no’ to the gift of life, mirroring the ‘yes’ spoken by the violence of crucifixion to both empire and injustice.
Individual lives, crafting paragraphs of both joy and suffering, seemingly conclude with a resolute full stop. While memories endure, bodies—cremated, abandoned under rubble, or laid to rest—fall silent, their voices stilled, their songs silenced.
The final curtain descends, seemingly extinguishing all hope, or when it does emerge, it's but an immature waking dream.
Yet, the Christian hope, firmly anchored in the life, work, death, and resurrection of Jesus, vigorously protests against such fatalistic views. The graveyard's silence, the ‘no’ to life, yields to the resounding ‘yes’ of heaven as Jesus proclaims, ‘Behold, I am alive forevermore.’ The final curtain proves not conclusive; the full stop merely a comma; the grand narrative of life persists. This ‘yes,’ made possible and actualized in Jesus the God-Man, empowers the Christian to defy the status quo, gaze unflinchingly at death and suffering, and, in humble revolutionary resistance, assert that the darkest day is not the final day.
Despite the evidence manifest in injustice, in the wreckage of bombed-out apartments, the rising seas, and the looming presence of empires of evil and injustice, the Christian, through Jesus, remains steadfast in the conviction that love triumphs. One day, just as resurrection points to new creation, the dead will be raised and all tears will be wiped away.
This hope isn't a passive sentiment; it's an active force. As we pray for the coming of the kingdom, we are bestowed with the opportunity, in anticipation of that future day, to actualise and embody this hope in the present.
- Swales, 2023
Artwork ’Appearance of Christ’ Ivanka Demchuk