Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The power of the resurrection

So what, if God sent his son to suffer like us. Very nice of him, I'm sure, but how does that help me? Isn't there enough suffering in this world anyway? When I see those fine young men returning from Afghanistan minus three limbs, I weep. Yesterday less than twenty miles from here a young father slit the throats of his wife and two young children each aged under two and then hanged himself. Why?

A career criminal stole a woman's car and when she stood in front of the car to try and stop him, he mowed her down and killed her.

A group of teenagers out having 'fun' beat up a middle aged Asian man so that he hit is head and died a few days later in hospital.

A four year old boy playing hide and seek is found dead hiding in a tumble-dryer.

All these incidents appeared in the newspapers in the past couple of days. How does a man dying on a cross 2000 years ago change anything?

He didn't stay dead.

Had he just been another martyr it would have made no difference, but he didn't stay dead.

The resurrection of Jesus Christ, one of the most verified events in history, changed everything. For one thing that resurrection will be shared around. Paul writes to the Corinthian Christians, "As in Adam all die, so in Christ all will be made alive.

How do you imagine it? Like zombies coming out of the grave? Some horror movie picture of rotting corpses? Or old people resuscitated?

By no means! We shall not all sleep, but we will all be changed - in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

I don't understand how, but Jesus talks about the renewal of all things. Not only will we have a new body, a new life, but everything will be put right. As Tolkien puts it in Lord of the Rings, everything sad will become untrue. Or from CS Lewis: They say of some temporal suffering, 'No future bliss can make up for it,' not knowing that Heaven, once attained, will work backwards and turn even that agony into a glory.

1 comment:

John said...

Have you read Tom
Wright`s latest book, `Virtue Reborn`? It was a tough-to-stay-with book for me but I`m sure it wouldn`t be for you, and your comments on it would be fascinating.