Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Blogging through Holy Week: Wednesday

We don't know much about what happened on Wednesday of "holy week." More of the same, likely. As Luke says,
Each day Jesus was teaching at the temple, and each evening he went out to spend the night on the hill called the Mount of Olives, and all the people came early in the morning to hear him in the temple. (Luke 21:37-38)
So, let's use our Wednesday post to look ahead, to the bigger significance of what is to come. I think the real hinge of history is not the crucifixion - after all, hundreds or thousands of people have died that awful death. It's shocking that Jesus did as well. But what's more remarkable is the resurrection. (Even then, not unique; others have been risen from the dead.)

But Jesus conquered death and broke its chains. Amazing. It's the beginning of God's "making all things new." New heaven, and a renewed earth, too.

The point of the resurrection, according to N.T. Wright:
"The point of the resurrection…is that the present bodily life is not valueless just because it will die…

"What you do with your body in the present matters because God has a great future in store for it…

"What you do in the present—by painting, preaching, singing, sewing, praying, teaching, building hospitals, digging wells, campaigning for justice, writing poems, caring for the needy, loving your neighbor as yourself—will last into God's future. These activities are not simply ways of making the present life a little less beastly, a little more bearable, until the day when we leave it behind altogether (as the hymn so mistakenly puts it…). They are part of what we may call building for God's kingdom."

N.T. Wright, Surprised by Hope: Rethinking Heaven, the Resurrection, and the Mission of the Church
To better understand where he's coming from on this and for more food for thought, see also:


Paul Merrill said...

I like that focus on how what we do now does have eternal meaning.

Marti said...

Yeah - that was probably the major point of Wright's book. The Christian life is not really about, 'believe in Jesus so you'll go to heaven when you die.'