Monday, April 25, 2011
"Dude, I'm glowing and my hair is totally sweet now!"
Can you imagine what it would feel like to come back from the dead? What would Jesus have felt like as he began to feel the blood coursing through his veins, appendages tingling with new life and breath catching in his lungs?
I was hit by this last night as my small group was discussing the experience of a man who had played in 20-plus passion plays. Upon reflecting on all those significant acts of thesbianism (I love that word), he said that the most impactful was one where he was playing Jesus in the tomb lying perfectly still and then began to move one arm and then another until finally he sat up and stood.
I have to admit that I'm jealous of this actor's experience. Of course I'd never be allowed to play that part because I'd be way too tempted to come out of the grave with arms raised in zombie-pose, drooling and mumbling incoherently. It would be too blasphemous they say, but I think it would be absolutely hilarious.
But I guess we've all had a resurrection experience, or a rebirth if you prefer(that's what I love about Christianity, you get choices). We've all been in a tomb, deader than a door-nail you might say: "RIP in peace Philip, your buckets been kicked. The poor guy croaked tirelessly blogging on and on about something I can't remember. You know how he was, now he's playing with the maggots."
I'll have to get better friends before I die. But before then I want to grasp hold of this whole coming alive thing. Isn't it a little hard to grasp? Most of us don't really think the resurrection is all that big of a deal. The reason being we don't really think we were really dead.
And I guess that's were sactif-i-can't-do-anything-good-ion comes in and reshapes our thinking. We really were lifeless and totally dead, dependant on divine rescue just as Christ made himself dependant.
I've been told that we need to clean house for God to make ourselves receptive to God. Try giving a dead guy a broom. Or even a dust-buster. Unless you grab his arm, pry his petrified hand open and then shut it on the dust-buster and use a pulley system to drift him around the house like Tom Cruise in "Mission Impossible," it's going to be difficult to get a dead guy to clean house (maybe I put to much thought into this). Plus even if you do get a dead guy cleaning house, wouldn't it be sort of self-defeating since bits and pieces would be constantly falling off? Gross, but true.
I think grasping the fact that we didn't do anything in effecting our rescue is key to understanding salvation and having a big picture of the cross. Repentance, our will or God's gift? God's gift. Softened heart of reception our work or God's gift? God's gift. Life lived in dependance on God? God's gift of life lived well. Working hard yes, but working with God's will, not our own.
I need to be careful here because we do not dissapear in the new life of Christ following. The reality is that we actually appear for the first time. And do we have free-will? Yes, but with qualifications. Does it actually make it "free" then? I'm not sure. I'm getting myself too deep, gurgle, gurgle-gurgle, "Help, cough, I'm drowning! Can somebody get me a Seminary Prof!?"
But I do think I'm right in saying we were absolutely helplessly dead and getting deader-er, and then for some innexplicable reason, God chose us, breathed life into us, and we were awoken to a life we could never have imagined. And as this is "now" it will be even more fully "then." We are being awoken to heavenly realities. I hope I'm awoken a little more today, "And Jesus, I promise I won't do the zombie thing. Cross my charcoal-black heart."