Friday, April 21, 2006

We all live on Saturday

Since Easter was last Sunday, I've been thinking about the point of the resurrection, and what it really means to me.

Some people would say that Easter, Sunday, means our sins are forgiven, but if you look at it carefully, you would have to say that our sins were forgiven during the crucifixion, on Friday. Or, if you believe people like Renee Girard, our sins were never forensically forgiven, but instead our attitudes and actions were changed as we watched so much senseless violence be inflicted on this innocent man. In any case, it was on Friday that our sins were taken care of.

Some people would say that Sunday means a victory over death, and eternal relationship with God. But as far as I, or anyone else can tell, people still die, and have yet to be resurrected. Maybe my MD friends know more about this than me, but truly dead people tend to stay dead. Since no one I know has physically met, or has met anyone who has physically met, someone who came back to life, we have no idea what really happens when we die. Anything we say happens after death is all speculation. Some people call their speculation faith. Others call faith foolish or escapist, which is only speculation as well. For me, at least, I find plenty of reason to doubt any speculation about what happens after we die.

So, the reality is that we all live on Saturday. People die around us all the time. And just like the disciples did on Saturday before Easter, we all mourn people's death, with the expectation that they will stay dead. Some of us might hold out hope that our loved ones will come back to life, but in the meantime we sit and wait. In this way, we all live on Saturday, awaiting the resurrection that comes on Sunday. But for 2000 years, Sunday has never come.

So, why do we still find hope in Sunday? Maybe Sunday is less about life after death, and more about life. I mean, the gospels don't spend much time on the resurrection. Mark spends no time on what happened after Jesus' death. Matthew and Luke spend around one chapter apiece. John spends the most time, but still only a little less than three chapters. Compared to the amount of time the gospel writers spend on the life of Jesus, the resurrection gets virtually no time.

To me, this means that the first recievers of the good news found the most hope in life, not in death, and not even life after death. Hope was in life. Ultimately, Jesus came not to raise us from the dead, but to give us life. Jesus came to show us how to live a life that displays love towards God and love towards others no matter how abusive those others get towards us. Jesus showed us what real life looks like, even to the point where people crucify you.

So, as I live life today, not worrying about tomorrow (for tomorrow has worries of its own), I find myself not thinking too much about Sunday, but instead living my life on Saturday as I follow Christ's example. This is real life, life like the kind of life Christ lived. Life that is abundant. We don't sit around and wait for Sunday. Instead, we all live on Saturday, because Christ showed us how.

1 comment:

Jenny Ortis said...

Wow, Ben. As always, very thought-provoking!