Today is a day of resurrection! Not a day where Jesus simply came back to life as though resuscitated, but a day in which Jesus was given a new spiritual/physical and immortal body that sometimes wasn’t recognized by his own disciples; could seemingly warp around different areas at will and vanish in and out of sight like an angel; and ascend right into Heaven where human bodies could not go previously.
Jesus’ body is a sign of what is ahead for us one day when we are also given such physical/spiritual bodies that will allow us to live forever in the new Heavens and the new Earth that God will create! Our planet is not doomed to die, but destined to be made new when Jesus (who is very much alive right now) decides to come home. And when he does, he will descend from the skies with the angels and the Christians who have passed throughout history, as Christians on the earth will ascend to meet him in the sky as a welcoming party, as we all make our way down to the ground to hit the reset button and create the new Eden.
Some live their lives at the beginning of the Bible story. Some in the middle. But while I keep all of the Bible in mind, these days I like to focus on the end. Because the end reminds me that having the perfect life right now is nothing compared to the perfect life that is to come. It reminds me that the things I miss out on right now do not actually matter. It reminds me that the sacrifices Christianity requires are worth it. It reminds me that both my brokenness and the brokenness I see in the world will one day be made right. And it reminds me that I do not need to fear leaving this world, because I will see it again in its perfection.
Do not discredit the beauty of resurrection. For if resurrection is not real, then Paul tells us that our preaching and faith are in vain; that our faith is futile and we’re still in our sins; that the Christians who died before us have truly perished; and that people should pity us if Christ gives us hope for this life only and not a life to come, because many lose so much for Jesus in this life—some even lose their lives. “If the dead are not raised,” says Paul, “Let us eat and drink, for tomorrow we die.”
The temptation of our scientific age is to write off such supernaturalist thinking of resurrection, new heavens and new earth, but the entirety of our faith and where it’s headed stands and falls on what happened at Easter; for Easter is a glimpse of the future. Resurrection is coming—indeed, the seeds of it are already here as Christians work alongside the Holy Spirit to strip off their old bodies and ways of life, so that the new resurrected body can peek through, as we cultivate the earth to look more and more like the Kingdom of Heaven by our efforts of love and prepare it for Jesus’ arrival.
This is resurrection—and this glorious belief should effect all facets of our life and thinking right now. Especially on days like today. And days like today remind us that resurrection is open to all who decide to follow Jesus as this loving and gracious invitation is always before us.