The Bible died, was buried and rose again on the third day.
While I was in the Detroit, MI area for the Annual Great Lakes Conference of the Evangelical Covenant Church for the past few days, Julie and some friends attended the Good Friday service of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church in Grand Rapids, MI.
Why is this significant? At the end of my novella Out of Print: A Novel, I have one of the characters tell about an Orthodox custom. At the Good Friday service, an icon of Jesus is taken from the cross, wrapped in cloths and buried. Actually, the Epitaphion (or tapestry) is carried around the church, then is “buried” in the bier/tomb. And, along with “Jesus,” the Bible is also placed in the tomb. Congregants walk up to the bier and kiss the dead Bible. Julie saw all of this at the service. (She actually took a picture of it, but I can’t get it uploaded into this post.)
Friends, without the Living Word–Jesus, the Written Word–the Bible, is just a dead book to us. It is the living Christ who energizes the sacred text to be a blazing fire, the penetrating sword, the nourishing food, and the light to guide our way. When Jesus died and was buried, the Bible (at that time) was dead and buried, too.
On Easter morning, not only does Jesus arise to a new dimension of life from the tomb, so does the Bible. The living Christ energizes the Bible as never before as the Word that brings new birth, new life and growth, unbelievable and timely insight, and staggering transformative power.
What a beautiful drama! Living Christ, living Word! God’s love endures forever!
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