I'm making my way, slowly but surely, through the book Zealot by Reza Asian. I am a very slow reader anyway, and when a book makes me think, well, the process slows even more because I'll read for awhile, then stop and think it through, sometimes re-read, let the ideas sink even deeper into the funky recesses of my mind.
I'm in the second half of the book, in which he talks about the rift between James and Paul, and the shift of the movement from a sub-culture of Judaism into a separate religion. It's all about the resurrection! I knew that, but it never sank in, how powerful this idea would be to first and second century people of the Roman Empire.
In Hinduism, resurrection is rather normal. Divine beings incarnate often as human presences in the world. There are a million tales of the avatars of the gods. They are fabulous stories, by the way, in case you've never read any of them. Confusing, yes, but very fun, dramatic, exciting and uplifting, too.
I had never made the connection between Hinduism and Christianity before. Jesus was an avatar of a divine being, according to Paul. That made the tradition decidedly not Jewish. There were other factors, too, of course.
I see resurrections often, don't you? Just the other day, I saw a dead cicada on the sidewalk. Instead of sweeping him up and putting him in the trash, I moved him out of the way (so I wouldn't step on him), then went on about my day. About an hour later when I came back to the chateau, he was gone.
Resurrected! Or ... something ate him, always a possibility with all the birds around here, not to mention hornets or other large, carnivorous insects. Maybe he wasn't quite dead yet and flew away. Who knows?
I remember Jake at the end of his life, so weak and sickly I thought he would expire at any moment, but when I took him to the vet to do the dirty deed, he was suddenly filled with vigor and actually tried to escape the room of death. It was a horrible moment, believe me! And - not exactly a resurrection, but something akin to it. Eventually he settled down and they injected him and then he was gone for real. Even remembering it makes me want to throw up.
The man, Jesus, was crucified like many others. The Romans were brutal! But then something happened. No one can say what it was for sure. Everyone has an idea about it, depending on their faith or lack thereof. But something happened! And the world has never been the same. It is so interesting to think about.
For now, all thoughts of resurrection must be put aside so I can attend to the living clients who are scheduled to come get some healing today. Life is good and I am grateful. Shalom.