Previously on Blog Gnosis: Some of our earliest Christian texts seemingly end with no resurrection scene. This seems pretty shocking and depressing to us now. And what does it mean? Is it some kind of hint that the resurrection didn’t happen, or at least, not literally?
I think another important clue is in the endings of Mathew and Luke and the traditional church teaching of the Ascension. After coming back to life and paling around with the apostles Jesus bodily ascends into heaven. This later tradition seems to give a ready answer to an obvious question: If Jesus came back to bodily life does that mean he’s hanging around here on earth and can I bump into him? What if the ascension story develops exactly to quash that line of thinking.
The Gnostic Gospel of Phillip teaches:
And from our old pal Paul in 2nd Corinthians:
Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away. Behold, the new has come!
The resurrection for us then isn’t our bodies coming back from death, it’s some kind of powerful life changing experience that happens in the here and now. But what’s the catalyst, how do we undergo this powerful Gnostic mystical process that grants us some form of mysterious new life?
Paul’s life changes when he meets the resurrected Jesus on the road to Damascus and that’s the answer right there: We resurrect and share in the resurrection by experiencing the resurrected Christ.
And that’s why Mark and the Levitikon have no resurrection and Ascension stories. As one modern Gnostic prophet has put it “Write you own gospel, live your own myth.” Instead of committing one definitive resurrection story to paper the texts end abruptly so that YOU can write your own ending. Everybody’s resurrection will be unique, and each one will shake the cosmos to the very core.
Also, again and again, in a myriad of Christian texts both orthodox and not, this resurrection still seems to be linked to the body. Even if Jesus coming back from the dead was a spiritual rising, even if it doesn’t happen to us after death, the language about this experience uses body metaphor after body metaphor.
I suspect that the resurrection somehow lets us reconcile the duality of spirit and body, That it somehow allows us to understand our bodies in this fleshy material world and how they relate to greater spiritual realities.
But I don’t know for sure…
The opinions expressed in this post do not necessarily reflect those of the Gnostic Wisdom Network, the Apostolic Johannite Church, or any other organization.