Every year, Jews and Christians celebrate Easter around the spring full moon. Jews remember the freedom from slavery in Egypt, Christians commemorate the memorial of the passion, death and resurrection of Jesus.
In every way, Easter speaks to the hearts of women and men of all times about a “passover”, a transformation, a change from a condition of slavery and suffering to freedom.
The narration of the passion and death of Jesus is, after all, the story of the human being’s inability to meet and deal with truth and freedom. The ugly surrender when dealing with our limits, choosing the shortcut of removal, of eliminating the problem, rather than the necessary introspection and change.
Let’s take a moment to think about three words as they are written in this narration.
παραδώσω (paradoso, in Greek: to deliver). Judas hands Jesus over to those who want to kill him. He can’t handle the disappointment of his expectations; he is unable to manipulate Jesus’ teaching and mission; he is unable to understand what and who Jesus. And then he hands him over – in Latin: he “betrays” him.
“Betraying” is precisely this: to hand over to others what is ours, in other words: to renounce to “inhabit” a relationship, a situation and let others do it.
παράδεισος (paràdeisos in Greek: paradise). The man, who in Judas does not recognize “who” Jesus is, meets him when he is crucified next to him. “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” says Jesus to one of the two condemned who share the same fate with him.
“Paradise” is this return to the initial conditions, where everything is free and therefore everything is beauty and harmony, even when outside this “enclosed garden”, everything appears ugly, condemned, dying.
παράδοξον (paràdoxon in Greek: paradox) is everything that goes against common opinion and sense. The normal and shared experience. Nothing is more definitive than death. Nothing more certain. Yet many women and men of all times and cultures try to standardize their lives to make this transition. From renouncing to live one’s responsibility to fullness. From betrayal to paradise.
This is the paradox of the proclamation of Easter: the ray of light beyond the definitiveness of death. The rebirth in forgiveness beyond the wound and the ugliness of a betrayal.
Andrea & Sara
Disclaimer picture by Jordan Rowland from Unsplash