The Cosmic Christ: Week 1
Heaven and Earth Are One
Thursday, October 27, 2016
Jesus was not born as the Christ. A transfiguration, a morphing, a realization had to take place, even in Jesus, before he became the Anointed One in which everything else cohered and held together (see Colossians, Ephesians, and the prologue to John’s Gospel). The resurrected Jesus is the Christ. The Risen Christ is Jesus but also bigger and beyond Jesus’ individual form and lifetime.
My systematics professor used to say that if the Resurrection had been filmed, it probably would not have shown a man stepping out of the tomb holding a flag, as most Christian art illustrates. The camera probably would have recorded a huge flash of light. The Risen Christ is Jesus released from all space/time restrictions. He is beyond space; he is beyond time. He includes all of the spiritual and the physical world, reconciled within himself.
Next on our diagram of the Cosmic Christ is the Ascension. In the story of Christ’s ascension as told in Acts (1:9-11), angels appear next to the disciples as they gaze after the rising figure. The angels ask, “Why are you standing here staring up into heaven?” Most of Christianity has been doing just that, straining to find the historical Jesus “up there.” Where did he go? We’ve been obsessed with the question because we think the universe is divided into separate levels—heaven and earth. But it is one universe and all within it is transmuted and transformed by the glory of God. The whole point of the Incarnation and Risen Body is that the Christ is here—and always was! But now we have a story that allows us to imagine it just might be true.
Jesus didn’t go anywhere. He became the universal omnipresent Body of Christ. That’s why the final book of the Bible promises us a new heaven and a new earth. (Revelation 21:1), not an escape from earth. We focused on “going” to heaven instead of living on earth as Jesus did—which makes heaven and earth one. It is heaven all the way to heaven. What you choose now is exactly what you choose to be forever. God will not disappoint you.
Gateway to Silence:
Christ has died. Christ is risen. Christ will come again.
Adapted from Richard Rohr, Christ, Cosmology, & Consciousness: A Reframing of How We See (CAC: 2010), MP3 download.