Resurrection icons portray the Easter story about Jesus coming back to life after death. Many a deity dies and then becomes resurrected. Dionysus in the ancient Greek myth, Osiris in Egypt, and Lemminkainen in Finnish mythology are three examples. Mayan myth of Quetzalcoatl is burnt up and resurrected as the morning star, while Odin tied a noose to the world-tree Yggdrasil, and hanged himself for nine days. By the power of the God of Norse mythology is strength and resurrection was complete. The archetypal idea of rebirth/renewal has been one of humanity’s great fascinations. It is no wonder, who doesn’t want another chance in life or belief that there is one?
Resurrection changes consciousness and raises our awareness.
Our physical bodies are restored and resurrected through miraculous healing. Reincarnation in Hinduism uses rebirth or transmigration to arrive at self realization. Lives are recycled souls that come back to life. Life-changing moments are also like resurrections. The minds attitude is changed and resurrected into new life through trauma. All these concepts are suitable for deep contemplation. Resurrection Icons reveal another level, the image warps and distorts the edges of life and death all together.
In the Early church, this Easter story inspired people to meet on the first day of the week to celebrate Jesus’s defeat over death. Imagine what church would be like if every Sunday was a Resurrection Sunday. We would gather to celebrate our ongoing transformation, people being born again each minute. Imagine celebrating last weeks life-changing events and share them in the community.
Christian Denominations and the same Easter Story
From the Orthodox to the Catholic, the Pentecostal to the Reformed Baptist — all believe the story about the empty tomb. We believe that the death of the body is possible, but not the death of spirit. Death is not the end of anything, it is part of a cycle. Celebrating a dead hero in the grave is of no help to us. But a risen savior gives us great confidence and aspiration to move beyond life and death. Theologians and spiritual masters aspire to override our natural fear of death, our self contentedness and ego to become realized eternal spirit.
Maybe if we empty our own minds and hearts like an empty tomb, we would realize our inseparable connection to spirit. For those who go to the tomb, the resurrection is a moment of disbelief. They recognize there is a remarkable kinship between life as we know it and a divine life beyond.
We need an unrestricted narrative to believe in. God has promised to be with us now and until the end of time. There is no place we can go that is not God. (energy, spirit, life, light) I was told by a priest that if Christ was to reveal himself on another planet, He might manifest differently. Whatever the physical form, the massage would be the same. An entire planet of bugs would receive Christ manifest as a bug with the same attributes (love, forgiveness, the power to perform miracles and unlimited potential for being) those values that would benefit them. The thought was shocking yet wonderfully inclusive and other worldly.
The body is the physical material to house spirit.
The church did not create the resurrection stories, instead, the resurrection stories created the church. Humanity apparently needs to have meaning, a narrative and format to believe in our coming back to life after death. I believe our narratives can limit us, remembering we live and move and have our being in constant change and freedom. We own nothing and resurrection happens at every second. God is our constant BE-ing in each of us.
Author Bio. Mary Jane Miller is a self-taught Byzantine style iconographer with over 28 years of experience. Her collection of sacred art is contemporary, unique, and unorthodox at times. Her work has been exhibited in Museums and churches in both the United States and Mexico. She teaches 4 courses annually, 5 day immersion workshops throughout the US and Mexico. website http://sacrediconretreat.com/FACEBOOK Conversations about prayer and iconography.