Live through this, and you won’t look back. – Stars
All Things New
Jesus’ resurrection is so much more than some kind of “proof” that He is the Son of God or our highway to heaven. When Jesus rose from the grave, He utterly destroyed the power of sin and death. He demonstrates the reality of God’s purpose to renew all of creation, and He invites us to become new kinds of people through Him and to join in His mission of redemption.
Everything that is broken will be made new.
For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross (Colossians 1:19-20).
In Surprised by Hope, NT Wright notes, “Jesus’s resurrection is the beginning of God’s new project not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonize earth with the life of heaven. That, after all, is what the Lord’s Prayer is about.” Following the risen Christ is not only about eternal life one day, but living (as Dallas Willard writes) the eternal kind of life today.
Dark Night of the Soul
It says something powerful, though, that the road to Easter leads through Good Friday. On Good Friday, we remember the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross.
I appreciate the struggle to call this dark day “good.” I understand where some churches are coming from when they show (often graphic) videos depicting the suffering Jesus endured for our sake — we never want to overlook or forget all that Jesus suffered. However, even though it can be intensely unsettling (particularly with the over-the-top soundtrack most of these videos employ), I don’t think they capture the true depths of pain Jesus bore.
This morning, my wife shared a powerful insight: the heart-rending cry of Jesus was because of His separation from the Father, not the scourging or mockery He would face. In that sense, His complete alienation, His brutal sense of aloneness, could never be captured on screen. As Tim Keller writes in The King’s Cross:
This forsakenness, this loss, was between the Father and the Son, who had loved each other from all eternity. This love was infinitely long, absolutely perfect, and Jesus was losing it.
For all our alienation, disorientation, degradation, brokenness, and sin — Jesus understands. He overcame the darkest night by entering into it and destroying it. The cross bears witness that we are not alone, we are not abandoned. The resurrection tells us that God’s Kingdom is already here and on its way.
Tim Keller writes about the resurrection:
If you can’t dance and you long to dance, in the resurrection you’ll dance perfectly. If you’re lonely, in the resurrection you’ll have perfect love. If you’re empty, in the resurrection you will be fully satisfied. Ordinary life is what’s going to be redeemed… food and work and chairs by the fire and hugs and dancing and mountains. God loves us so much that he gave his only Son so we — and the rest of this ordinary world — could be redeemed and made perfect.