One of the surprising things about life with God is how often He lets things die. Dreams, relationships, careers, people. It’s like He’s utterly unfazed by death. The Bible preps us for this–all the talk about agrarian seasons, Jesus’ resurrection, the Apostle Paul reminding us in his letters that as we follow Jesus, the old us dies and we become “new creations.” It’s all very out with the old, in with the new.
I’m thinking about this because Easter is coming. I admitted to a friend last night that I’ve been more in a space of, How many days until this Lenten fast is over? and What’s the best way to cook a ham? than, Hey, here comes the highlight of our faith year! I mean, if you’re into Jesus, Easter is kind of the BIG POINT. For all my lack of enthusiasm around Christmas (the world is going to hell, and God sent a baby? Sigh. Whatever…) Easter has always mattered to me, starting from the time I was a twenty-something searching for spiritual solace and direction. I guess I already knew that mine was a life that would require some resurrection power. And yet this year, it all seems a bit vague and amorphous.
Then this morning, I read a passage in the second chapter of John. A bunch of salesmen who had been selling things in the temple were mad at Jesus. He’d come after them with a whip, flipped their tables and ruined their nice displays, then drove them out. They demanded, “What miraculous signs can you show us to prove your authority to do all this?”
Jesus answered, “Destroy this temple, and I will raise it again in three days.”
The people didn’t believe him, and yelled back, “Tt took 46 years to build that temple! No way could you rebuild it in three days!” But they missed the point. The temple Jesus was taking about was his body. He knew they were going to kill him. He also knew that in terms of their intentions, it wouldn’t matter, and that in the big picture, his murder would accomplish something wonderful. He knew he would overcome death; that it wouldn’t be the end of the story, but the beginning.
He had what savvy marketers might call a “Resurrection Worldview.”
This morning, I’m asking God for some of Jesus’ bold confidence. I want to live in a way that expects resurrection as a normal part of life with Him. I’m close, but I’m not there yet. I don’t think we can get that kind of vision on our own.
There are seasons where all we see is death, with piles of hopes and dreams and ruined memories strewn across our mental landscape like a crop flattened by a tornado. I’ve found those seasons last about 2-3 years. It feel endless. But it’s not. Eventually, the landscape is cleared of debris. Life is neater, the dead things gone. There is sunshine and warmth in the air, and as I look around, I wonder how God wants to use all this space. My tendency is to imagine all the things I think would be fantastic, and get busy: planting, building, decorating. But I’m starting to catch on that this is not the way it works; that my best ideas are seldom the ones that lead to the big highlights in life. So I’m waiting, looking to around, curious about what will happen next. This seems like a good vantage point.