“Christ is dead and risen”
– Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary on the Bible (1706), Romans 8:32-39
Christ is both dead and alive. Christ is both crucified and resurrected. Christ in Christian theology exists in states of contradictory duality.
This is not a popular opinion as the death and resurrection of Christ are seen as having occured as historical events within a point in linear time. This is not a popular opinion because without the living Christ and the resurrection there is no hope from a Christian perspective. It is heretical to consider Christ as dead.
However as an expression of God (or the Godhead) burst into real time, the very real God in human flesh, one is forced to wonder about the aspect of God that exists outside of time and all linear restrictions. That God who witnesses and experiences all things at once, eternally. That God who experiences both the crucifixion and the resurrection as a constant state of has happened/is happening/will happen. This is not unlike the idea of Erwin Schrödinger’s cat and the idea of quantum superposition.
“Schrödinger’s cat is a thought experiment, sometimes described as a paradox, devised by Austrian physicist Erwin Schrödinger in 1935, though the idea originated from Albert Einstein. It illustrates what he saw as the problem of the Copenhagen interpretation of quantum mechanics applied to everyday objects. The scenario presents a hypothetical cat that may be simultaneously both alive and dead, a state known as a quantum superposition, as a result of being linked to a random subatomic event that may or may not occur.” – Wikipedia
It is important to note that Schrödinger intended his thought experiment to show the absurdity of the theory of quantum superposition and the idea that anything could exist in two states at once. In fact the idea has only grown in strength.
Christ is crucified and ressurected. Christ is both God and Man. These are states of contradictory duality that exist simultaneously in Christ. Unlike with quantum superposition however, observing Christ will not end the duality or state of superposition. Happily scripture manages this problem by reporting God stating in Exodus 33:20 that God cannot be observed –
“You cannot see my face, for man may not see me and live.”
There is no observation of Christ allowed, only observation by inference…the way we infer the existence of a black hole or a distant planet by the gravitational effect it has on an observable object.
The idea of Christ remaining crucified eternally is a poignant expression of just how deep the sacrifice of Good Friday truly is. That Christ bears the sins of the world forever. The idea of Christ existing in a constant state of resurrection more deeply presents the overcoming of death at Easter showing him existing in a constant state of victory eternally.
That Christ can contain both death and life within himself eternally at once is an expression of his Godhead.
“Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ will come again!” – Memorial Acclamation