Life, Death & Resurrection
Caloy Diño I read in a medical journal recently that myopia, or nearsightedness has become prevalent problem all over the world. It now affects 30 - 40% of the population in the US and in Europe, and reaches 70 – 90% of the population in Asian countries. I am nearsighted myself, and I have difficulty seeing things just a few feet away. To read a book unaided, I need to bring it close to my face to make out the letters. If I want to read a book comfortably, I need to wear glasses. Without them, my vision gets blurry. We can be nearsighted in matters of faith as well. We read the Bible and then apply them directly to our personal circumstances right now. Rarely do we read the Bible to view what‟s up ahead, to see a vision of the future. And this is true in the case of Easter. The Gospel writers testify that Jesus was crucified, died and was buried. They did not stop there. They testified further that on the third day, Jesus was raised from the dead. Now, often, when we think of the resurrection of Jesus, we associate it with us being saved today, being a child of God right now, and being secure in going to heaven when we die. These are all true of course. But they are a nearsighted view of Easter. Beyond it our visions begin to blur. If you really think about it, our ideas of heaven are a bit cloudy. We imagine life there to be floating in the clouds, relaxing, strumming harps, playing lyres and singing worship songs to God forever.
who was saved from the flood. We read about Moses and how God rescued the people of Israel from Egypt. God revealed himself in Scriptures as the God who saves. created man and woman in his image. The resurrection of Jesus Christ has a much richer meaning than the blurry images in our heads. the first man and woman fell. We read of how the glory of the kingdom shone brightest during the reign of Solomon. the God who‟s at work to restore the world to Himself. much more awaiting those who believe in Jesus. Because of sin. God created the world in six days. and led them to the Promised Land.
. there‟s something much. The earth is cursed. We need to look much further. It appears at that point that God‟s creation project is in jeopardy. But we need to wear a different set of spectacles to see it. We know how it all began. Renowned New Testament scholar and theologian NT Wright puts it this way: If heaven is life after death. But sin came. the resurrection of Jesus points us to life after life after death. and they were banished from God‟s presence. In spite of this. the King of Israel who built Jerusalem. We also read of David. and gave them dominion over all creation. That‟s because beyond heaven. the kingdom was divided. We see it as well in the story of Abraham and the founding of Israel. But because of sin. the kingdoms of Israel and Judah were conquered by foreign kingdoms and the people of God sent into exile. We see glimpses of it in the story of Noah. a nation blessed to be a blessing to the nations. but one grand story of God‟s mission to save the world.But Easter is much more that that. We need to see the Bible not as a set of unrelated stories bound together in one book.
“like the days of a tree. and usher in the return of God in their midst. restore the temple worship. This is the Messianic age. God‟s people began longing for restoration. the „firstfruit‟ of new creation. Jesus promised to come back one day to bring everything to fulfillment. God sent prophets to declare visions of a coming king. It‟s a time when “the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” as expressed in Isaiah 11:9. the leopard and the young goat. the Messiah. Isaiah calls this “the new heaven and the new earth. and giving them the promise of restoration. the coming of the Kingdom of God. And this is what Jesus. [God] will answer. Knowing that a glorious eternity awaits us in the new earth to come. the lion and the calf living together. so close that “before they call. Isaiah painted a glorious picture of what to expect in this coming age. without cost.And there at the point of exile.” for God‟s people to enjoy the work of their hands. And because Jesus promised us a rich inheritance in the life to come. He was the first human to be resurrected.” This is what the Messiah. who will sit on the throne of David. led by a child. It will be a time of intimate closeness with God. And while the new heaven and new earth has not yet come. Isaiah 55 also spoke of wine and milk and rich food in abundance that people can enjoy for free. They began to plead for their to return to Jerusalem. while they are yet speaking [God] will hear. defeat the enemy. the Anointed One will bring about. Isaiah 11 spoke of the wolf and the lamb. and that we will be
. ushered in when he rose again from the dead. Knowing this gives us hope in this life. And then we read of God hearing their call.” a coming period when people will live long lives. should give us courage to endure whatever trials or hardships come our way.
I encourage you to brothers and sisters.rewarded for what we do in this life for His sake. then we can be confident that as we give our lives in the service of the Lord. as we celebrate Easter. Set your sights on Jesus. our labor will not be in vain.
. the one who promised us life after life after death. look beyond this life.