Easter: Religion or Resurrection
My mind this a.m. seems captivated still by what we believe as Christians:
“But let me tell you something wonderful, a mystery I’ll probably never fully understand. We’re not all going to die—but we are all going to be changed. You hear a blast to end all blasts from a trumpet, and in the time that you look up and blink your eyes—it’s over. On signal from that trumpet from heaven, the dead will be up and out of their graves, beyond the reach of death, never to die again. At the same moment and in the same way, we’ll all be changed. In the resurrection scheme of things, this has to happen: everything perishable taken off the shelves and replaced by the imperishable, this mortal replaced by the immortal. Then the saying will come true:
Death swallowed by triumphant Life! Who got the last word, oh, Death? Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?”
I Cor. 15:51-56 (MSG)
Oh the excitement of this glorious reality, that one day I will hear and live again!
Sure death is a reality, and for all of us there is coming a time when like friends and family passed, we too will be tenderly place deep in the grave. Many have now been “planted” for centuries, their vaults cracked open, their flesh long since invaded and even now distributed as sustenance for plant life! That is a reality. Are we mere plant food? Is there hope!
Yes, there is the promise of bodily resurrection, that one day what happened to Christ on the third day will also happen to me. Whether my soul will be resting in that grave, or held in some transitory place with God I am not fully sure, but my mortal body will at some point be changed. How do I know…maybe it’s this longing, an aching for immortality that is written in my heart? The centuries of imagination, religion, myth, consistent among all humanity, the true distance between us and other creatures, would be indication enough for me. However, “You ask me why I know He’s real; He’s real within my heart.” “I was blind and now I see”…I have met Him!
Will that moment of immortality be immediate upon breathe ceasing, no longer stirring this frame or possibly some time later, much later when my person, though my body long decayed, could suddenly hear a trumpet sound? As I get older and know less! I am not even sure if that means from a brass horn or a powerful call from the voice I have heard so often and become so comfortable with in my spirit?
Just think what it will mean to be resurrected from the dead…to suddenly realize…and I hope there is some vestige of memory from our earlier ache and desire just for contrasting that reality and certain joy…but suddenly it happens! John, Come up here! I’m alive again!
Why all this thought around death? I am no longer content just to celebrate the resurrection of Christ alone, but rather, as I think His objective might have been, to buy into and celebrate the fact that because He is risen, I too will see that one day! That everyone’s Easter.
I truly hope that your Easter is about more than an egg hunts, annual plays, musical presentations, even cleaning flat stones in some cemetery?
None of that is all bad, but there is a bigger picture, a greater wonder than simple celebration of a tradition.
Oh, Death, who’s afraid of you now?”