I’ve always loved this painting of the rising Christ. Piero della Francesca painted it about five and a half centuries ago in San Sepolcro, Tuscany, where you can still see it, although it’s no longer in its original home, the Palazzo della Residenza, the town hall. According to my favorite research site, Wikipedia, the leaders of Tuscany, before any meeting, would pray standing in front of this image. Of course, for us, that’s a bizarre idea, but for Tuscans it made sense. Sure, as Italians their government had a cozier relationship with Roman Catholicism than American governance has had with any denomination.
But it goes deeper than that. The town’s name, San Sepolcro, literally means the “Holy Sepulcher,” the Holy Tomb. While this might sound like kind of a morbid name for a town, remember that for Christians Jesus has overcome the power of death. The tomb is no longer a symbol of death.