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Christ’s resurrection clothes

by
22 January 2016

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Your answers

 

Writing in 2007 about the resurrection of Jesus, the late Professor C. F. D. Moule asked: "Where did our Lord get the clothes to wear?" (Christ Alive and at Large, edited and introduced by Robert Morgan and Patrick Moule). How might we answer Professor Moule’s question?

 

When I raised this curious question in conversation with a well-read friend whose long service in Reader ministry is outstanding, he was bemused by my ideas of the resurrection as metahistorical and the transphysicality of our Lord’s risen body.

He had every reason to offer the important reminder that, however curious we may be whence Jesus acquired post-resurrection clothes, nevertheless the short and honest answer to Professor Moule’s conundrum is neatly summed up in the memorable line that "Faith believes nor questions how," and, in any case, the problem is of no real importance compared with the gospel proclamation that "Christ is risen" and the Christian experience that "Christ is alive and at large." So be it.

(Canon) Terry Palmer, Magor, Monmouthshire

 

I am tempted to say "From St Michael", but resurrected bodies don’t need clothes. The risen Christ had to accommodate to his disciples’ physical state in order to appear to their minds. He therefore appeared wearing ordinary clothes, but these could not have been captured on any camera. Professor Moule wants to distinguish the resurrection experiences from mere visions, but writes that we must reckon with Galatians 1.16.

(Canon) John Goodchild, Liverpool

 

I suppose the answer to the late Professor Moule’s question is contained in St Joan of Arc’s reply to her inquisitors. When asked whether the angels in her visions were clothed or not, she replied: "Do you suppose God has no clothing for them?"

(The Revd) R. Parrish, Barry

 

I was asked just this question some years ago by a young boy. My answer was that one of the rarely mentioned aspects of Jesus was his efficiency. He was a good organiser: he arranged the transport for Palm Sunday, and the function room and the caterers for Maundy Thursday. Knowing what was to happen, he could well have said to some faithful follower, "Please bring this bag to the garden on Sunday morning; you’ll understand why later."

It could have been someone like the young man of Mark 14.51, who would certainly come to appreciate the nature of the predicament.

(Canon) Peter Calvert Todmorden

 

The answer to this question has always been quite clear to me. The clue lies in Mary’s reaction to seeing "the gardener". Jesus left the grave clothes behind him when he rose on Easter Day. If he was going to appear to his disciples, he needed clothes. He probably found them in the gardener’s shed.

(Miss) M. S. Horne Croydon

 

I have seen in print somewhere the suggestion that he found the gardener’s work-wear in his shed, hence also Mary’s initial mistaking of his identity — a neat solution to two problems, but probably too literal. Equally literal, and even less likely, he found the linen cloth abandoned by the young man who fled naked as he was arrested.

M. J. Leppard, East Grinstead

 

Your questions

 

When our former parish priest, a member of the Society of the Holy Cross (SSC), left, he instructed our churchwardens to allow only SSC priests to stand in during the vacancy. They are extending this ban even to our area dean (who has ignored it) and diocesan bishop. We are a Resolutions A and B parish. Are the wardens correct in their actions?

K. G.

 

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