Sunday, March 23, 2008

Jeanetter Winterson on the Easter Story

Jeanette Winterson's column in the UK Times -- on reading to feel, on the Easter story, Christianity, to "a time without boundaries":

The decision of Caiaphas to turn Jesus over to the Romans is a logical decision made for the collective good to avoid revolution in Jerusalem. Judas's decision to betray Jesus is similarly pragmatic as he watches the stable order of things being overturned. Peter's denial of Jesus is the confusion of a man afraid of the power of others, and its consequences for himself. Pontius Pilate's refusal of responsibility makes complete sense in a world of facts, and no sense in a world of feeling. Thomas, who doubts that Jesus is risen, demands to put his hand in the gaping wounds, he wants empirical proof of a miraculous event. The Disciples, who don't believe that Jesus has risen, make a judgment, as any of us might, on the available evidence - namely, people don't rise from the dead.

The Easter story does not make villains out of all of the people who one by one fail Jesus. Rather, these people make decisions that we can understand, decisions we would probably make ourselves, and that is why the story is so challenging and so powerful. It asks how we come to the decisions that we do, and why it is so hard for us to stand against the compelling pressure of everyday values, values that make sense in their own limited logical way, and yet which lack richness, compassion and faith in a different kind of power.

Full article here.

2 comments:

Nymeth said...

That was a great article. Thank you for sharing.

Dark Orpheus said...

Nymeth You're welcome. I'm actually surprised that I can still respond to the Easter Story after all these years. (I spent 10 years in a Methodist school where we had the Easter plays every year)

Some stories have that power -- and they stay with us for the rest of our lives.