Monday, April 25, 2011
A throne of stone
If you want proof that at least some of the honor given to the "inerrancy" argument misses the point, all you need to do is read the gospels' various tales of the resurrection because they're all different. Who saw what when? isn't at all clear. Depends on who you believe--Matthew, Mark, Luke, or John.
No matter. Who says story-tellers always get their facts straight? Not me.
Yesterday, in church, we read the Matthew passage, and I couldn't help giggle about that angel, "an angel of the Lord," Matthew says, not naming names. The implication, in Matthew, is that the women, two Marys, were actually there at the time--and felt the earth shake when that winged strongman shouldered back the stone.
Those Roman guards--think of them as fat Donald Trumps in skirts--went numb, according the Matthew, "became like dead men." And why not? The very idea their subconscious minds must have feared was actually happening. All night long they were probably drinking and carrying on about this dim-wit assignment--watching a tomb sealed with a behemoth rock, lest some scrawny Jewish fanatics (or worse, their women) should try to roll it away and grab the body of that bloody fool prophet, whatever his name was. Somewhere in the empire real Roman guards were doing respectable war, while they bivouac in Palestine with some skinny dead guy.
Then, boom, the ground shakes, this massive stone rolls off, and there stands this buff winged cherubim.
Here's what I never really saw before: ". . .behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it."
This heavenly linebacker rolls back the stone and just sits on it. Imagine that. He does the heavy lifting, then sits down, crosses his legs, and says to the dazed Roman warriors, "So, this guy walks into a bar with his camel. . ."
Okay, the Bible says nothing about bad jokes, but I just think it's so right that the angel--maybe he worked up a sweat, who knows?--would just sit down on that rock as if it was a Lay-z-boy and pull out a pipe. "Come here often?" he might say to the shuttering Roman boys.
It's not everyday one thinks of an angel as something of a ham.
But then it's not everyday a haloed angel, his appearance like lightning, his garment like snow, moves a mountain so that a dead man walks.
It's not everyday there's a resurrection.
It's not everyday a stone is a throne.
Posted by J. C. Schaap at 5:24 AM