Easter Thursday

Apostles Peter and John Running to the Sepulchre by Eugene Burnand

This painting brings us back to Easter morning with Peter and John running to the tomb after hearing that Jesus had risen from the dead. The faces and hands of these two apostles have much to tell us.
(Click on the image for a larger version.)

I like the way these two appear ready to break from the painting's frame: they are obviously in a hurry. Do we hurry towards the Lord's presence or do we sometimes hide from it, convincing ourselves that we might find a place where he cannot find us?

John's face is a combination of grief and hopefulness and his hands are folded in expectant prayer, a posture not conducive to running but one which tells us of his heart's desire that the news is true - that Jesus, his beloved, is indeed risen. Are there not times in our lives when we wonder if Jesus is risen? if he is with us? if his presence can be found?

Peter is only hours from having three times betrayed the One rumored to be risen. You can read his worry in his furrowed brow. One hand points an accusing finger, the other lays over his pained and guilty heart. Are we not sometimes afraid of how Christ will respond in the face of our unfaithfulness?

John's eyes peer into the distance hoping to see what he dare not hope to see; Peter's eyes are wide open, wondering what Christ will see in him should he encounter the risen One.

These two apostles mirror our own often ambiguous relationship with Christ. We have cause to accuse ourselves of being unfaithful to his love for us and at the same time our hearts hope beyond hope that Jesus is indeed risen and goes before us even as he walks by our side. As at the first Easter, it should not surprise us if we find ourselves in both faces, John's and Peter's. The important thing to remember is that the peace of the risen Jesus seeks a home in both of them - and in all of us...


1 comment:

  1. I really like this painting of John and Peter!


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