One of my favorite Easter paintings is by Eugène Burnand: Peter and John Running towards the Grave. We don’t know all that was going on inside their minds. But the Eugène Burnand well captures their emotions. Running to greet their beloved Jesus, John and Peter run to the tomb to verify what Mary had reported. John, wearing white, symbol of purity, clasps his hands hoping against hope. Peter, somewhat older, his face wizened from numerous fishing trips, holds his hands to his chest – is it true? In my pastel drawing above I have tried to create the light and power that once emanated from the Garden tomb as the small group of people following Jesus realized he was no longer there. He had risen.
Was it true? Frank Morrison considers this question in the book “who moved the stone.” The strangeness of the Resurrection story had captured Frank Morison’s attention, and, influenced by skeptic thinkers at the turn of the century, he set out to prove that the story of Christ’s Ressurrection was only a myth. His probings, however, led him to discover the validity of the biblical record in a moving personal way. Who Moved the Stone? is considered by many to be a classic apologetic on the subject of the Resurrection. Morison includes a vivid and poignant account of Christ’s betrayal, trial, and death as a backdrop to his retelling of the climactic Resurrection itself.
I am in London this Easter contemplating the death and resurrection of Jesus. In my collection of art, I have this beautiful carving of the face of Jesus. It is in ancient olive wood from Israel.
Easter is a time of moving from the death of an old life to a new life made possible by the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. My church in London, Holy Trinity Brompton erected this large screen torn in two to indicate we no longer need to look to ourselves, our old ways, our need to offer sacrifices, our need to perform and compare ourselves for others in order to find new life. It is already available in Jesus.