This fresco is called Anástasis in Greek, from Chora Church in Istanbul, Turkey. In love, Jesus pursued all who died before him, pulling Adam and Eve from their graves, because he was victorious over sin and death on our behalf. This event, the “Holy Saturday” between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, is referenced in 1 Peter 3:18 - 20; 4:6, Ephesians 4:9, and early creeds, and was portrayed in this way starting around the 6th century.
The mission of The Anástasis Center for Christian Education and Ministry is to proclaim the healing of humanity in Jesus and the restorative justice of God. We encourage ministry rooted in the atonement theology of the early Christian tradition best articulated by Irenaeus of Lyons and Athanasius of Alexandria.
We hope to transform Christian education and ministry. We hope people catch a fresh vision of Jesus’ love and God’s goodness through the rich resources of the early Christian movement. We make excellent scholarship practical, accessible, and usable.
We produce Christian study and action guides for public policies and personal choices, rooted in Scripture and early church thought.
We write and organize academic resources for seminarians, scholars and researchers.
“I now see his act on the cross as a moment of triumph.”
danielle | boston college
Traditional Ethiopian cross. Christian faith reached Ethiopia very early, building upon the Judaic faith already present there. Circa 330 AD, Athanasius of Alexandria, Egypt, ordained Frumentius to be Aba Salama, the first Abuna of the Ethiopian Church. Read more about early Christian faith in Egypt, Ethiopia, Libya, and Nubia.
The Anástasis Center for Christian Education and Ministry was previously named the New Humanity Institute, and was founded by Mako Nagasawa in 2014. Read about our impact. Anástasis is the Greek word for resurrection used in the New Testament, for example when Jesus says, “I am the resurrection and the life” in John 11:25. It reflects the emphasis given to Jesus’ death as his triumph over the corruption of sin in human nature, and his resurrection as the birth of a cleansed, purified, new humanity which Jesus shares with us by his Spirit.
As Irenaeus, bishop of Lyons (c.130 - 202 AD), said, “It behooved Him who was to destroy sin, and redeem man under the power of death, that He should Himself be made that very same thing which he was, that is, man; who had been drawn by sin into bondage, but was held by death, so that sin should be destroyed by man, and man should go forth from death” (Against Heresies 3.18.7).
Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria (c.298 - 373 AD), said, “The Lord was especially concerned for the resurrection of the body which He was set to accomplish... having effected the blotting out of the corruption” (On the Incarnation 22.4). For more, read our Theology 101 and Atonement Theology 101.
This copper and silver candlestick holder was made by Syrian Christian Dawud ibn Salama al-Mawsili in Syria in 1248/9 under the Muslim Ayyubid dynasty. It reminds us of the Christian vocation of bearing light to others, even when the larger culture is not Christian, by bringing forms of beauty into the service of Jesus. Read more about Christian faith under Islamic rule in the Middle East.
Artwork and Credits
Anástasis: Gunnar Bach Pedersen | Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons. Ethiopian cross: Brooklyn Museum | CC.3.0, Wikimedia Commons. Syrian Christian candlestick: Fabos | Public Domain, Wikimedia Commons. See this page for more on the artwork on this page.