Symbols. Representations. Denotations. Easter week. A week of symbols. A cross. An
earthquake. Afternoon darkness. A tomb. It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming!
The horror of Friday ends with triumph Easter Sunday. Jesus Christ, dead on a cross. Lovingly wrapped and placed in a tomb. Glorious surprise! Sunday morning brings intense joy. An empty tomb. He is not here, He is risen!
And now. Belief. Lives given to him, Jesus Christ, sharing in his suffering. His sorrow. Out of those sufferings, symbols of the new way arise. The cross becomes a symbol of life.
The sign of the fish. Another symbol. Letting others know of belief in Jesus. Icthus, the Greek word translated in the New Testament as fish. And, also formed into an acronym for Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Savior. Christianity and icthus. Early believers identifying each other with the sign of the fish. A secret sign for ancient believers.
Symbols. Icthus. The cross. For centuries. And now. A new symbol has been added. ن, pronounced “noon”. The 14th letter of the Arabic alphabet. Equivalent to the Roman letter N. Given by the Islamic State to Christians in the Iraqi city of Mosul. The ن stands for Nasara or Nazarenes. Arabic. A deprecatory word for Christians. Meant to be a mark of shame. Being transformed into a mark, a symbol, of hope. Not only for Iraqi Christians, but for believers across the world.
Symbols marking our lives. Our belief. Our hope.
Marking the greatest truth.
He is risen! He is risen indeed!