Tag Archives: resurrection

You Didn’t See That Coming Did You?

6 Apr

So…I pretty much took the whole season of Lent off of blogging. Did I give up blogging for Lent? Nope. Just got busy.

So I’m going to try to get back on the blogging routine going through the book of Matthew one day at a time and one chapter a day. I’ll also post on videos, pictures and thoughts that run across my mind. So because Easter (the resurrection of Jesus) isn’t a day the church celebrates but the posture of the church I thought I would post this video of Rob Bell’s take on the resurrection.

I like the words even if some of the special effects seem a little over the top:

Jesus is standing in front of the temple in Jerusalem
the massive gleaming brick and stone and gold house of God
and he says destroy this temple
and I’ll rebuild it in three days

the people listening to him said how are you going to do that?
it took 46 years to build this temple!
but he wasn’t talking about that temple
he’s talking about himself
he essentially says, listen
I’m going to be killed
that’s where this is headed
because you don’t confront corrupt systems of power
without paying for it
sometimes with your own blood
and so he’s headed to his execution
if you had witnessed this divine life extinguished on a cross
how would you not be overwhelmed with despair?

is the world ultimately a cold, hard, dead place?

does death have the last word?
is it truly, honestly, actually dark
and so whatever light we do see
whatever good we do stumble upon
are those just blips on the radar?
momentary interruptions in an otherwise meaningless existence?
because if that’s the case then despair is the
only reasonable response

it’s easy to be cynical

but Jesus says destroy this temple and I’ll rebuild it
he insists that his execution would not be the end
he’s talking about something new and unexpected
happening after his death
he’s talking about resurrection

resurrection announces that God has not given up on the world
because this world matters
this world that we call home
dirt and blood and sweat and skin and light and water
this world that God is redeeming and restoring and renewing

greed and violence and abuse they are not right
and they cannot last
they belong to death and death does not belong

resurrection says that what we do with our lives matters
in this body
the one that we inhabit right now
every act of compassion matters
every work of art that celebrates the good and the true matters
every fair and honest act of business and trade
every kind word
they all belong and they will all go on in God’s good world
nothing will be forgotten
nothing will be wasted
it all has it’s place

everybody believes something
everybody believes somebody
Jesus invites us to trust resurrection
that every glimmer of good
every hint of hope
every impulse that elevates the soul
is a sign, a taste, a glimpse
of how things actually are
and how things will ultimately be
resurrection affirms this life and the next
as a seamless reality
embraced
graced
and saved by God

there is an unexpected mysterious presence
who meets each of us in our lowest moments
when we have no strength when we have nothing left
and we can’t go on we hear the voice that speaks those
words

destroy this temple and I’ll rebuild it

do you believe this?
that’s the question Jesus asked then
and that’s the question he asks now

Jesus’ friends arrive at his tomb and they’re told
he isn’t here
you didn’t see that coming, did you?
he’s isn’t here
there is nothing to fear
and nothing can ever be the same again
we are living in a world in the midst of rescue
with endless unexpected possibilities

they will take my life and I will die Jesus says
but that will not be the end
and when you find yourself assuming that it’s over
when it’s lost, gone, broken and it could never be
put back together again,
when it’s been destroyed and you swear that it could never
be rebuilt

hold on a minute
because in that moment
things will in fact have just begun

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Matthew 28

28 Jan

Continuing to go through the book of Matthew looking at one chapter a day and offering a thought, question, or quote. Today it is Matthew 28:

After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.

2There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. 4The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.

5The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. 6He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”

8So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. They came to him, clasped his feet and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

Who were the first the first witnesses of the resurrection? Women.
Who were not allowed to be witnesses in court in this culture? Women.

One of many of the inadvertent testimonials to the validity of the resurrection isn’t a persuasive argument but an observation. Those first witnesses of the resurrection play a role that no one trying to trick people into believing that Jesus rose from the dead would use. If you were making up a story trying to convince people that Jesus rose from the grave then it would be a poor decision to use women to authenticate the story because they couldn’t testify in court. Their voice didn’t matter. You would use men as the witnesses if you wanted any kind of cultural credibility.

This is just one of many examples in the scriptures in which the story of Jesus’ life, death and resurrection was just something that you wouldn’t think of writing unless you were recording what actually happened.

Not only do women as witnesses at the tomb speak for the authenticity of the resurrection but it speaks of God’s value of the woman’s voice. The church gather’s every Sunday morning traditionally instead of the Jewish Sabbath, Saturday, because of the resurrection occurred on a Sunday. Resurrection Sunday was started off with the voice of women. That first Sunday, women were allowed to testify to the resurrection of Jesus yet for many churches, women are kept silent on Sunday, the day these first women testified to the resurrection, some churches tell them to be quiet. That’s odd.

For more on the Resurrection please read N.T. Wright’s book Surprised by Hope
For more on women in ministry please read Scot McKnight’s blog as this is a subject he has talked about much because at one time he was a part of churches that silenced women in regards to teaching. He has several series that look through the scriptures and the role that women had in the bible and books on the subject by different authors.

N.T. Wright on the Resurrection

1 Apr

http://blog.preachingtoday.com/2008/03/interview_with_n_t_wright.html

Hist book on the resurrection is seriously good.

Quotable Quotes-The Reason for God

27 Mar

The Reason for God-Tim Keller
Chapter 2: How Could a Good God Allow Suffering?

the-reason-for-god.jpg

For many people it is not the exclusivity of Christianity that poses the biggest problem, it is the presence of evil and suffering in the world. Some find unjust suffering to be a philosophical problem, calling into question the very existence of God. For others it is an intensely personal issue.p22

In December 2004, a massive tsunami killed more than 250,000 people around the rim of the Indian Ocean…One reporter wrote: “If God is God, he’s not good. If God is good, he’s not God. You can’t have it both ways, especially after the Indian Ocean catastrophe.”

Many other philosophers have identified a major flaw in this reasoning. Tucked away within the assertion that the world is filled with pointless evil is a hidden premise, namely, that if evil appears pointless to me, then it must be pointless.p23

But wait, there’s more!

Surprised by Hope

6 Feb

352 pages of sheer goodness…
surprised-by-hope.jpg
…seriously.

Death be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so;
For those who thou think’st thou dost overthrow
Die not, poor Death, nor yet canst thou kill me.
From rest and sleep, which but they pictures be,
Much pleasure–then, from thee much more must flow;
And soonest our best men with thee do go,
Rest of their bones, and soul’s delivery.
Thou’rt slave to fate, chance, kings, and desperate men,
And dost with poison, war, and sickness dwell,
And poppy or charms can make us sleep as well,
And better than thy stroke. Why swell’st thou then?
One short sleep past, we wake eternally,
And death shall be no more. Death, thou shalt die.

N.T. Wright quotes these words of John Donne (from his writing I guess he hung out with Shakespear) then makes these statements:
“Death is a great enemy, but it has been conquered and will at the last be conquered fully.”
“Death is important, it is an enemy, but for the Christian, it is a beaten enemy.”
“Donne sees life after death in two stages: first, a short sleep, then an eternal waking.”
“Death will be not simply redefined but defeated.”