Can You Picture Us? (Love Letter 4)
We have no signs in the ancient world of imagination quite like the jewish prophets, but even they had only conceived of resurrection as an event for martyrs, not one man, not a Zombie apocalypse, but a remaking, a breaking of the natural order by the only one who could (its Creator) out of desire and unction to keep his covenant. But the radical coming of God's Kingdom and the resurrection of all his people that Jesus ushered in was pointed at all through their history:
God said to Moses, “Make a snake and put it on a flagpole: Whoever is bitten and looks at it will live.”
Jesus translated the obscure image of what a restored relationship looks like with God and he extends the hand to our whole world: "In the same way that Moses lifted the serpent in the desert so people could have something to see and then believe, it is necessary for the Son of Man to be lifted up—and everyone who looks up to him, trusting and expectant, will gain a real life, eternal life.
This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again."
Even the wildest dreams of God's chosen people couldn't have pictured the way it would actually go down.. or rather, come up!
You let the world, which doesn’t know the first thing about living, tell you how to live. You filled your lungs with polluted unbelief, and then exhaled disobedience. We all did it, all of us doing what we felt like doing, when we felt like doing it, all of us in the same boat. It’s a wonder God didn’t lose his temper and do away with the whole lot of us. Instead, immense in mercy and with an incredible love, he embraced us. He took our sin-dead lives and made us alive in Christ. He did all this on his own, with no help from us! Then he picked us up and set us down in highest heaven in company with Jesus, our Messiah.
Engaging that imagination with a real world forever changed by God's Son, Jesus, who was raised up to lead humanity and all of creation with him into new life, can you picture us? Can you join the ancient jewish songwriter,
"Oh, thank God—he’s so good! His love never runs out.
All of you set free by God, tell the world! Tell how he freed you from oppression,
Then rounded you up from all over the place, from the four winds, from the seven seas..."