“Pie in the sky…in the great by and by.”
“Pearly gates and streets of gold.”
What does resurrection bring to your mind?
Here’s another phrase to consider: “You’re so heavenly-minded, you’re of no earthly good.” Are you? Could your understanding of the resurrection have misled you to be so heavenly-minded, you’re of no earthly good?
Normally when we think of Easter, we’re in Springtime-mode, and we think of new life. As I type, the grass is growing (and needs to be mowed!), and the tulips are in bloom. Spring is abundant with new life. We are right to connect resurrection with new life! Resurrection is the idea of that which is dead coming to life . At least for those of us in the Northern Hemisphere, we are blessed with the natural symbolism of Easter coinciding with Spring. New life is all around us.
But what concerns me is that when we think of this new life, we’re so heavenly-minded that we’re of no earthly good. What I mean by that is that resurrection causes us to think about pie in the sky, eternal life in heaven on those streets of gold. We are joyously grateful that Jesus died for our sins and rose again, because that means we, too, will rise again in new life and be with him in paradise, kinda like he said to the thief on the cross. Resurrection is for us the hope of eternal life, new life in heaven! We are right to praise the Lord about that.
So why would that concern me? Well, is that all resurrection was intended to mean? New life after death. Is that all?
Some might respond and say “Isn’t that enough?”
Good question: Isn’t it enough that we should have the hope of eternal life, of heaven, of being resurrected and with Jesus?
If that was all that Jesus said should be enough, I’d say “Yeah, that’s enough.” If all he taught was that he would die and rise again so that we could have new life after we die and be with him in heaven, then I’d say the discussion is over. I’d say that pie in the sky in the great by and by is all we need to concern ourselves about!
But Jesus didn’t stop there. Neither did the other writers of the New Testament. While they were very excited about new life in heaven made possible by salvation, by Jesus’ death and resurrection, they also talk about the amazing fact that resurrection begins now!
Think about that…you can be resurrected before you die.
In fact, let me go so far to say that unless you are resurrected before you die, you haven’t understood what Jesus was all about. The resurrection matters now. The resurrection is vital now.
Sound impossible? That is what we explore tomorrow during our Easter Celebration at Faith Church. Join us!