Category Archives: bodily resurrection
The Big Picture
God is love. God was always complete. Father, Son, Holy Spirit, three in one, living in perfect harmony and mutual love. Divine love spilled over. Because God is love, God desired living things to love. So, God created.
Originally, the realm of nature, the cosmos, and the heavenly spiritual realm were one.
The oneness was disrupted, torn apart, by two deliberate rebellions – one by some angelic beings, the second by humans.
Immediately, God began the great divine rescue project of reuniting heaven and earth, i.e., the natural cosmos. God is doing so without violating any creature’s free will.
God chose a person named Abraham, and through Abraham raised up a nation called Israel. God’s purpose in doing so was to draw all people, all nations, back to the Divine self – to bring all humans into harmony with heaven, the realm of God, the realm of perfect love.
Israel, like the first humans, failed to live out the love-relationship with the divine, so the other nations were not attracted to YHWH. But God did not abandon the divine rescue project. God became a human being. Jesus claimed to be God. He forgave sins, said he always existed, and asserted he was coming to judge the world. This Jesus did things only God could do – walked on water, transformed water into wine, rebuked storms, raised the dead.
Was he deluded? Insane? Lying? Or, is Jesus God incarnate? Nice guy, helpful prophet, great teacher, fine ethicist, or model human are not logical options.
This Jesus, this God-Man, ushered in a new kingdom unlike any other. This kingdom has no military, no politicians vying for power. The citizens of this kingdom love, are nonviolent, inclusive, gracious, forgiving, compassionate. All are invited and welcome in this kingdom. In this kingdom, there is neither Jew nor Greek, male nor female, bond nor free – all are one in King Jesus. This kingdom is multiethnic, multicultural, multilingual, multinational. In it, the last are first, the servant of all is the greatest of all, the way up is down, and the meek inherit the earth.
Jesus initiated this kingdom on the cross. When he allowed himself to be crucified by the Romans, Jesus absorbed into himself all the sin, evil, rebellion, and wickedness in the entire cosmos. Sin and evil imploded as it killed him – evil not realizing that a sinless one freely offered in love cannot remain dead.
Jesus rose again. Alive. Alive in a real physical body. He appeared to hundreds. Then, he ascended into heaven. That does not mean he flew away to some distant place. It means that now a fully human person is not only living in the realm of God, but is seated on the divine throne, ruling all that is.
His plan is to spread the kingdom of love to all. How does he spread the kingdom of love? He breathed into his apprentices and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” He poured out the Holy Spirit on 120 followers on the day of Pentecost. He breathes his Spirit into, pours his Spirit upon, all who receive him today. Why? So that they (we) would be equipped, enabled, empowered to love as he loved, to give their lives for others, to turn the other cheek, go the extra mile, forgive the unforgiveable, and nonviolently resist hatred with love.
The incarnation means God became human.
The crucifixion means God has absorbed all sin.
The ascension means there is a human king ruling in heaven.
Pentecost means God indwells humans on earth, giving voice to the inarticulate praises of nature, living out the cruciform love that washes feet, soothes wounds, visits the incarcerated, houses the homeless, feeds the hungry, heals the sick, and loves the unlovable who live on the margins.
The realm of heaven, the realm of perfect love, is overlapping with the realm of human destruction. It is overlapping through those of us who seek to follow Jesus.
When Messiah Jesus appears, all will be like him, heaven and earth will be one. Perfect, divine, cruciform love will saturate all that is. Forever.
This kingdom –
Animal farm, 1984, brave new world?
Red tsunami that washes in
Patriarchal white supremacy so
Jews won’t replace us?
This kingdom – military incursions
Kowtowing to dictators,
Mockery and greed,
Goons with assault weapons?
The reign of the
God who is perfect
This cross – a
Brutal state execution?
A soft, bland bloodless atonement?
Some sort of lesson?
The King of the cosmos absorbing
All evil and destroying the works of the devil?
This resurrection –
Circle of life?
Alive in our thoughts?
Eggs and bunnies and lilies?
Stone table cracked,
Blood, salt, fire,
The earth trembled,
This God –
A myth of the ignorant and fearful?
A creation of human imagination?
Distant, impersonal, uninterested?
Subjective deity of beauty and goodness inside our minds?
Formless life force surging through the cosmos?
The sum total of all there is?
An energy we can tap?
A soft-bellied partly senile grampa who wants all to have a good time?
A vending machine Santa Claus to give me my best life now?
Strick harsh legal judge?
Warlord crushing enemies?
Vengeful monster inflicting eternal conscious torture?
YHWH, the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Israel, the
God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
True and living God who is
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit?
God is exactly like Jesus –
Burning with passion,
Flaming out against hypocrisy and injustice,
Caring for the least, the broken, the sheep
Scattered, bleeding, ripped, bleeding on the
Hillsides for lack of shepherd.
Demanding – sell all, follow me,
Deny self, take up cross,
Servant of all, wash feet,
Die but don’t kill,
Go the extra mile
Give but don’t sue
Forgive, love enemies,
Lose life for my sake.
Welcoming alien, stranger,
Healing, loving, forgiving