History and the Resurrection

Some months ago I picked up the book The Resurrection and Modern Man, by the Patriarch of Antioch Ignatius IV.  I have yet to wrap my head and my heart around even the first 20 pages.  But in light of the fact that Easter has come, I thought a few passages worth quoting:

Let us listen to Him who sits on the throne and declares: “Behold, I make all things new” (Rev. 21:5).  “I make all things new,” is not a program; it is an event, in fact the only Event of history.

We propose to be neither archeologists of Christianity nor sociologists of a revolutionary Chruch: all that is radically outdated.  We must instead be prophets of the New Creation and visionaries of the resurrected Christ.

In Christ death has been overcome, but among those who are of the lineage of the Woman of the Apocalypse, it still has to be definitely conquered (Rev. 12:17).  . . . If we do not take this fact into account, our response to the Word of God will be nothing more than ecclesiastical triumphalism or pathological repentance.  In other words, the New Creation appears in history as a battle against death; it can only be perceived as a paschal drama.

. . . the New Creation is explained not by the past, but by the future.  It is clear that the action of the living God can only be transformative and creative.  . . .Any other god than the Lord is a [dead] god.  And it is high time that our modern consciousness bury him.  This multiform god, who lives in the “old consciousness” of man stands behind man as a mere cause.  This old god dominates, organizes, leads man backwards, and finally alienates him.  There is nothing prophetic about this god; on the contrary he always follows after as the ultimate reason for the unexplainable or as the last recourse for irresponsible people and their actions.  This false transcendence is as old as death itself; it is an idol made by the hands of man and for which man feels a passionate jealousy (Gen. 3).

Irenaeus of Lyon says that we are to “know that He has given us something completely new by giving us Himself, He who had been announced in former times;  He is the new principle of life which was to come, to renew and enliven humanity.”

Wonderful words for a wonderful day, if only I could fully understand them!

Have a blessed Easter,