We Don’t Know the Half of It
Pssssst. I’ve got some really good news.
As we approach our Easter celebration, I want to remind you of something really cool.
Jesus rose from the dead.
Not spiritually. Not metaphorically. Not aspirationally (whatever that even means).
Physically. Bodily. Humanly.
He was alive. Then he was killed. Then he was dead. Then he came back to life and got up and walked out of the tomb. He ascended and promised to come back. Physically. Bodily. Humanly.
This is incredibly good news.
Think about it: every power in this world rises and then falls. Nations rise and fall. People rise and fall. Systems rise and fall. And when one nation, person, or system falls, another rises to take its place. Over and over.
Every new generation tries to reach heaven in this life through success, power, security, or pleasure. The foolishness of the Tower of Babel is repeated every generation as we seek to get the fullness of life by climbing up whatever hill we think will deliver on its promise.
And no matter how high we rise, we eventually fall. Like Jack and Jill – it always ends the same. Jack falls down and breaks his crown. Every time.
It’s just the way things work. People rise and fall. Cultures rise and fall. Nations rise and fall.
Except for Jesus.
Jesus didn’t rise and fall. He fell and rose.*
And that changed everything. EVERYTHING.
Because Jesus rose from the dead, “what is” is not all that there is. The joys that lift us, the sorrows that hurt us, the hopes that drive us, the disappointments that weigh us – they are all part of this age, which is the temporary prelude to the True Story of the New Beginning that God started in his promises, activated in his first coming, and will show us its fullness when Jesus returns.
Because Jesus rose from the dead, everything you’ve lost will be found. Every tear you’ve shed will be wiped away. Everything that has been wounded will be healed. Every injustice you’ve suffered will be made right.
Seems too good to be true, doesn’t it?
Yeah, it does. And, you know what’s crazy? We don’t know the half of it. If we did, we’d just be walking around in a daze of amazement, gratitude, joy, hope, and longing. We’d laugh at the fear mongers who try to manipulate us into fearing and hating others. We’d have no temptation to buy anything from the power peddlers who promise us influence, comfort, and security (in exchange for our power). Deceptive worldliness would hold no allure and temporary and empty promises would ring hollow.
We’d be so rich in hope that we would encourage everyone we met, so rich in love that we would bless everyone we encountered, and so rich in security that we’d make the world shake at our strength.
We are the people of the resurrection. Let’s not turn aside from this hope even if we are promised the entirety of this passing world.
Because He is risen.
He is risen, indeed!
* I picked up this profound insight from Diane Langberg’s incredibly good book Redeeming Power: Understanding Authority and Abuse in the Church