Christ is risen, and He rose in this world with a human body in order that all things might be made new. The center of this new creation is the forgiveness of sins, but that is merely the great and glorious foundation. Remember that Jesus Christ is the Creator of the Universe, and so it is no accident that Jesus is the One re-creating the universe in history.
Jesus rose so that we might enjoy His world with Him forever. Jesus rose so that we might study the stars, so that we might see His glory in the heavens forever. Jesus rose so that we might watch the birds’ swooping formations and fluttering and listen to their singing and teach some of them talk to us. Christ rose so that we might dive into the sea and see His handiwork, tiny and enormous, beautiful and strange, darting and scuttling through waters, His vast colorful gardens of algae and coral reefs. Christ rose so that we might walk on the edge of continents and feel the sand between our toes. He rose so that we might hike mountains, smelling cool, dank forests, losing our breath, tasting sweat. He rose so that we might watch insects on a sidewalk, or buzzing in the flowers, squirrels chattering in trees, buffalo lumbering in a field.
He rose so that we might live, so that we might taste and see that He is good. No, literally, that we might taste chocolate and know that our Redeemer lives: the smell of coffee roasting in the morning, steaks on a grill, beer on a summer afternoon, peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cold milk, and crème brûlée. But don’t forget music and singing, dancing and love making. Don’t forget holding hands, hugs, tickling, braiding hair, newborn babies and toddlers and teenagers and newlyweds and grandpas and grandmas, and rain and snow and wind and mudpies and sunshine falling through windows and lazy dogs sleeping in it. And what else?
Jesus rose so that this whole world might become the Garden of God again, the playground of God for His people. For as many as receive Him, He has given them the power to become children of God. Christ rose so that everything and anything in this world that Christ made, might be delighted in because He made it and He loves it. Christ rose so that we might play and discover and invent and enjoy His world with Him forever.
Christ is risen indeed.
Photo by Angelo Jesus on Unsplash
Our family is so blessed by your ministry there in Moscow. Our college age son, Joshua, sent us the link to this post, which my husband then read to the whole family.
Later I asked Joshua: “How would you answer this question: all those things Sumpter mentions were more or less possible before the Cross. Why or how is it different now, because Jesus rose?”
I thought you’d enjoy the answer he sent me:
“What’s the connection between the resurrection of Jesus and ants on a sidewalk, waves on a beach, the Rockies, the stars? The connection is that Jesus is their King, he has a place for them, and they are gifts from his hand. He bought them all, and he wants to set them all free from their otherwise futile end. (Romans 8) If Jesus did not come, then he never bought everything back. If he did come, but he did not rise from the dead, then he is the King, but the King is dead.
And if the King is dead, then all these things are pointless. They exist for a short while, and then they are gone forever, never having any more meaning than can be found in themselves. If the King is dead, than all these gifts are not gifts at all; they are from no one. They just are, and then they are not. If the King is dead, then there is no greater story to be a part of, whether you’re a butterfly, a buffalo, or a boy.
But if the King did come, and if he did rise, then to quote Wilson, ‘he owns the place’, and his plan for the place is redemption.
So why can we love, appreciate, and enjoy all these physical gifts and pleasures more now that Jesus is risen? Because that means that their King is alive. And if the King is alive, then there is a real, true, and right place in the Great Story for chocolate, bumblebees, daisies, goldfish, waterfalls, buffalo, giant oaks, mountains, constellations, and all of us. They are gifts from the King’s hand. But that can only be true if he is alive.”
Thanks, Jennifer. That’s really great.