We are quickly approaching the Ascension of Jesus, which happened 40 days after Easter. Jesus leaves the earth promising his followers that he must go, so the Helper – the Holy Spirit – can come and be with them (and us) as the Advocate. Ascension Day is May 26th this year. So we still have a little bit more time to celebrate the Season of Easter. Still time to do some reflection on the Resurrection and all that it means. If you are like me, Easter may feel like it was a long time ago, so take a moment today to pause and reflect on how you’ve been experiencing resurrection.
Maybe it’s in the new life of plants or flowers, maybe it’s in the birth of a child, or a calf or lamb or a nest of baby birds. Or maybe you need something to remind you to look for signs of resurrection around you.
44 Then Jesus said, “When I was with you before, I told you that everything written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. 46 And he said, “Yes, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. 47 It was also written that this message would be proclaimed in the authority of his name to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who repent.’ You are witnesses of all these things.
49 “And now I will send the Holy Spirit, just as my Father promised. But stay here in the city until the Holy Spirit comes and fills you with power from heaven.”
50 Then Jesus led them to Bethany, and lifting his hands to heaven, he blessed them. 51 While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up to heaven. 52 So they worshiped him and then returned to Jerusalem filled with great joy. 53 And they spent all of their time in the Temple, praising God.
While in Glasgow, Scotland a couple of weeks ago, we visited the Kelvin Grove Museum and Art Gallery and saw the painting by Salvador Dali, ” Christ of Saint John of the Cross.” It’s an amazing painting that I’d seen in my art history books in college, but never seen in real life.
We watched a video about the painting’s history and how it arrived at the museum (see the brief video below) and how it was vandalized and repaired…the painting itself was resurrected.
In that video, a priest said that to him, this painting was NOT about the crucifixion of Jesus, but really about the RESURRECTION of JESUS! WOW! Mind Blown! I’d never looked at this painting this way before!
Notice that Jesus isn’t NAILED to the cross … He has conquered death!
Notice the boats and fisherman in the bottom of the painting.
What else do you notice?
I had never noticed the bottom of the painting. I love the boats! They remind me of Jesus calling Peter to come follow him and fish for people. They remind me of John 21 and the breakfast picnic Jesus hosted for his dazed and confused disciples post-resurrection. They remind me that I too am called to love and serve and live out resurrection in the world!
I also love the colors and the clouds….they inspire me with HOPE not dread. Jesus says in John 14…
“I’m telling you these things while I’m still living with you. The Friend, the Holy Spirit whom the Father will send at my request, will make everything plain to you. He will remind you of all the things I have told you. I’m leaving you well and whole. That’s my parting gift to you. Peace. I don’t leave you the way you’re used to being left—feeling abandoned, bereft. So don’t be upset. Don’t be distraught.
John 14:25-27 THE MESSAGE
Sit with this painting today and meditate/consider the John 14 passage above.
How does it feel to know that Jesus wants you to be well and whole?
How does it feel to know that Jesus doesn’t want you to feel abandoned but rather loved and filled with peace?
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. JESUS John 14:27 NIV
You might take some time to create your own artwork on peace and resurrection … or create a new playlist of songs that bring you peace.
This week, watch for signs of resurrection. Take time to remember the Joy of EASTER! And sit down and rest in the PEACE of Jesus!
Ground yourself in the earth and its summer season where you live and find the ways that God is speaking through it – all the details can be found here!