Christ has ascended to Heaven, exalted in Love. On the 7th Sunday of Easter, Adam and Lindsey read a portion of Jesus’s farewell discourse, John 17: 1-11: “And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.” “Jesus Unmasked” seeks to remove the masks of exclusive theology and violent cultural lenses that obscure the truth of Jesus’s unconditional love. Scripture passages are read from the Revised Standard Version of the Bible. “Jesus Unmasked” is a Raven Foundation production.
Christ has ascended to Heaven, exalted in Love. On the 7th Sunday of Easter, Adam and Lindsey read a portion of Jesus’s farewell discourse, John 17: 1-11: “And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.”
For the last Sunday in Easter, we again go back to before the crucifixion, where Jesus prays for the Father to “glorify your Son so that the Son may glorify you.” Jesus’s glory is in the crucifixion itself, where, raised high for all the world to see, he forgives the violence that murdered the living God. In that moment, he definitively shows that God is not among the judges but among the judged, that God is not the author of righteous violence but the victim of it, and that mercy has the final word over sacrifice.
At the end of the Easter season, we revisit this prayer, and it takes on a new light in the ascension. Jesus went to the cross in Love, to fully embody solidarity with victims and stop hate in its tracks with forgiveness. Now he will be glorified in Love, so that our eyes can be opened to the beauty and wonder and joy of the Triune Dance of Love that created the cosmos and the earth and all of us.
Eternal life is not the reward given to those with perfect theology or perfect obedience. Jesus prays for his disciples who “have kept [God’s] word,” even though the disciples messed up again and again. All they have done is remain in relationship with Jesus, because Jesus himself has remained faithful to them. And that relationship is eternal life. And through his defeat of death on the cross and his model of mercy, Jesus has opened that relationship to the whole world.