In a well-known movie scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, two corpse collectors are gathering the dead. One of them brings out a man who loudly claims “I’m not dead yet” despite the argument of the collector that he is indeed dead. A little off-color for Easter weekend but perhaps not.
On Saturday morning I am wondering about Jesus’ call to die I referenced in Friday’s post. There is no doubt that Jesus is dead when the sun sets on Friday. But am I?
I use the language… but am I really dead? It is easy to speak glibly of dying to self while holding onto my prerogatives. It sounds holy to say I am dying to myself while arguing at the same time “I’m not dead yet.”
If the full power of Jesus’ resurrection that I celebrate tomorrow seems muted or constrained it might be because the patient – me – is not quite dead. The power that raised Jesus from the dead can only occur in the places where death is real and complete. There is no partial death, no half-surrender. The places where I want Jesus’ power must be, ironically, as empty as his tomb. Empty of self-will. Empty of self-importance. Empty of self-loathing, too. As empty as death.
I am all-too-aware today where I am not dead and therefore not fully alive May the Christ of the Cross help me to that death that the Christ of the Tomb may also help me to a deeper experience of his life.