11 Mary stood outside near the tomb, crying. As she cried, she bent down to look into the tomb. 12 She saw two angels dressed in white, seated where the body of Jesus had been, one at the head and one at the foot. 13 The angels asked her, “Woman, why are you crying?”
She replied, “They have taken away my Lord, and I don’t know where they’ve put him.” 14 As soon as she had said this, she turned around and saw Jesus standing there, but she didn’t know it was Jesus.
15 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who are you looking for?”
Thinking he was the gardener, she replied, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him and I will get him.”
16 Jesus said to her, “Mary.”
She turned and said to him in Aramaic, “Rabbouni” (which means Teacher).
17 Jesus said to her, “Don’t hold on to me, for I haven’t yet gone up to my Father. Go to my brothers and sisters and tell them, ‘I’m going up to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.’”
18 Mary Magdalene left and announced to the disciples, “I’ve seen the Lord.” Then she told them what he said to her.
-John 20:11-18, Common English Bible
In a recent post, I said that being autistic makes it somewhat hard comprehend faith. I also said that what has helped me the most is the use of imagination to make visible what can seem not very visible or tangible at all. Tales about vampires or to a lesser extent, zombies, are good ways of understanding the afterlife to me.
So, how do I come to understand the resurrection? What did it mean for Jesus to come back to life? What will happen to us in the future when we are promised to be raised from the dead in the same way?
This is where the androids come in.
Androids have been a way for us to understand our own humanity or lack thereof. They can also help us understand what it means to live, die and come back to life again.
I’ve been a fan of yaoi comics, the comic style that hails from Japan. Yaoi roughly translates into “boy-love” in Japanese, which means that these comics tend to have gay themes. The characters are rich and for a gay man like myself, I enjoy having complex gay characters than the alternative which is…not much.
Sixteen years after he died, famed roboticist Alastair Sterling wakes in a robot body to a world he barely recognizes. Artificial beings walk the Earth, many of them based on his own memories and designs. Confused about his resurrection and this brave new world, Al visits his old research partner Brendan to find more surprises in store, including a brilliant young gynoid who looks suspiciously like Al himself.
I know that for some folks it might be a little disorienting to be talking about the resurrection of Christ along with gay men and a transgendered robot, but it works for me. It gets me wondering: what is the Resurrection? What was it like for Jesus? What will it be like for us?
I’m thankful for stories like C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia and stories on vampires and webcomics for helping me in my faith. Because of the imagination of others, I am able to comprehend the wondrous mystery of God.