What the Resurrection opens up for us
The great American writer, John Updike, died recently. All his life he vacillated between Christian faith and doubt. However, quite early in his career he wrote a poem for a religious arts festival sponsored by the Clifton Lutheran Church of Marblehead, Massachusetts. The poem was called "Seven Stanzas at Easter," and it is extraordinary. Listen to the first four stanzas:
Make no mistake: if He rose at all
it was as His body;
if the cells' dissolution did not reverse, the molecules
reknit, the amino acids rekindle,
the Church will fall.
It was not as the flowers,
each soft Spring recurrent;
it was not as His Spirit in the mouths and fuddled
eyes of the eleven apostles;
it was as His flesh: ours.
The same hinged thumbs and toes,
the same valved heart
that-pierced-died, withered, paused, and then
regathered out of enduring Might
new strength to enclose.
Let us not mock God with metaphor,
analogy, sidestepping, transcendence;
making of the event a parable, a sign painted in the
faded credulity of earlier ages:
let us walk through the door.
The literal, bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is a door we must walk through. On the other side of that door is our own hope of resurrection, and so much more. As we continue our study of 1 Corinthians 15, I want to show you more of what lies beyond the door of the Resurrection.
The resurrection of Christ is the door to all God has planned for the world to come.
First, the Resurrection is the door to a re-created humanity. When Adam sinned it was like a spiritually mutant death gene was introduced into his line, and every son or daughter of Adam since then has been infected with sin that doomed us to death. But Jesus, as fully human as we are—as completely Adam-ized—died ...
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Lee Eclov is pastor of Village Church of Lincolnshire in Lake Forest, Illinois and author of Pastoral Graces: Reflections on the Care of Souls (Moody Publishers). Eclov also leads a gathering of pastors for mutual support and learning called Pastors' Gatherings. To find out more about these Gatherings visit his site www.leeeclov.com.