This is the center panel of the stained glass window in Central Baptist’s sanctuary. The whole front window is, to me, some of the most fantastic stained glass I’ve ever seen – but this center panel is the most striking. This is as things should be. It is, after all, Jesus’ resurrection.
There’s a lot going on in this panel. Jesus’ right hand is in an iconic pose indicative of both the triune nature of God and the two natures of the Incarnate Son 1. The nail scar is visible on his foot and hand as well. This serves as both a reminder of the way he died and as an assurance that he did die. A divine halo shines behind his head as he emerges from the grave, with the soldiers representing worldly power cowering in the foreground against the power of God. The one soldier is wrapped in purple, perhaps the robe Jesus had placed on him in mockery. The staff is a banner, calling people to his side. I need to explore the marking more, is that just a representation of a cross on wind-swept fabric, or is there something more? 2 Jesus’ eyes stare straight into those who observe them. They offer a challenge, but with some tenderness in them as well. They say, “I’m alive. How will you respond?”
Every week we worship in the sanctuary this image shines into our eyes, demonstrating the same divine power overcoming the world and asking the same question. Every time I see it I’m struck again with it’s beautiful force. Will I embrace the resurrected Son of God, or cower from him?