Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Two Angels and the Presence

My children point out that there were two angels guarding the entrance of the Garden when Adam and Eve were exiled from the presence of God. And there were two angels over the Ark of the covenant and woven into the curtains guarding the presence of God in the tabernacle and temple. And then at the resurrection there are two angels sitting in the empty tomb and two angels appear at the ascension announcing that Jesus will come again.

A couple of thoughts: The two angels in the empty tomb means that the "presence of God" is now fully localized in Jesus. The veil was torn at the crucifixion, and access to God is granted in Jesus. The angels are sitting in an empty tomb. They are no longer guarding the presence of God. The Ark has become an empty tomb. 'He is risen; He is not here,' they say. Where is Jesus? Where is the Presence? He's in the garden, and Mary will mistake Him for the gardener-Adam.

Then when they reappear at the ascension, it's the same message. Why do you stand here, staring up into the sky? Notice that they still aren't guarding the presence of God. Adam has returned to the garden. Jesus is in the presence of the Father, and He will send His Spirit to the disciples. The two angels do not guard the presence; now they announce to the disciples that Jesus is in the Presence and that He will come again.

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