This risen existence : the spirit of Easter by Gooder, Paula; Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ

By Gooder, Paula; Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ

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Imagine a beam of sunshine breaking through heavy, black clouds on a stormy day. The clouds are still heavy, the atmosphere is still oppressive, the weather is still stormy but the beam of sunshine intimates that there may be more going on than we can see, and that above the clouds the sun shines. In the same way here, on one level nothing { 20 } lo o s e end s changes. 38–9) and we also discover that he wasn’t entirely alone. 40–1). In Mark’s Gospel there are three moments where Jesus is declared to be God’s son.

18–20 I remember once being taught how to make an origami crane (the bird variety not the mechanical kind). The per­ { 35 } this r i sen exi s tence son teaching me showed me once, and then again, then a third time and finally in response to my blank look sent me off to show someone else how to do it. I would like to tell you that the resulting crane was pristine, well creased in the right places (and not in the wrong places) and recog­ nizably what it was meant to be; I would like to tell you that but, of course, I would be lying.

This time, however, it is not God who speaks but a despised Roman centurion, one responsible for overseeing Jesus’ death, who proclaims divine sonship for the Jesus who suffered and was crucified. Whether the centurion said that Jesus was a son of God or the Son of God (either is a possible translation of the Greek, as various scholars have pointed out), he recognized more in Jesus than the disciples had ever noticed during his life. His statement hangs before us as a challenge – whatever the centurion recognized in Jesus, whether it be that he was a special man or the Son of God, who do you say that he was?

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