Listen, and I will tell you a secret. It was whispered to me in class yesterday - and once I heard it; everything changed.
The secret is this:
There is no Resurrection without Death.
We were watching a video about Divine Mercy; and of course, it told the history of Poland. Little Poland, from whom so much Mercy has come, was completely wiped off the map of Europe over 100 years ago. Poland was dead; they all thought.
That is, until she rose again - and went on to play a leading role in saving the world.
NO Resurrection Without DEATH!
When I heard this whisper from a new, dear friend; she went on to point out that God tends to repeat the same pattern throughout all of history. David versus Goliath, the weak overcoming the strong, the dead rising again to new life.
In other words: the unexpected, incongruent and miraculous pattern of His Son.
And suddenly, I had perfect clarity of what is going on in our nation - and the world.
The statistics are grim, my friends. The demographics alone show all of Europe extinct (nationally speaking) by 2050 - since native French, Germans, Italians, etc. stopped having children several years ago. It has already crossed the tipping point. To retain their ethnic heritage, each Frenchman, German, Italian, etc. would have to have something like 20 children NOW. Hence, Europe will be run by immigrants; and most possibly completely Muslim, by 2050.
Not only that, but in case you’ve missed it - things ain’t looking too great everywhere else either…
Today perversion is militantly portrayed as normal; disagree and watch your lives and livelihoods taken away. Abuse of all form grows - most is praised: we see a nation celebrate both infanticide, and death of the elderly, sick and ‘imperfect’. We see drag queens applauded while they romp with and fondle youth - in public libraries - in front of approving parents. Leading public figures, of all kinds, incite hatred and violence. Roving bands of teens, and others, attack innocent bystanders - with their actions uploaded to internet for entertainment.
Cruelty laughed at, and purity mocked.
And this is just one day’s headlines. Need I go on? I’m sure you can add your own observations to the list - it appears endless these days.
Have you read Revelations lately? Give it a go, you might find it eerily familiar. In the 16th chapter, John sees the plagues that will come upon the earth when God has finally ‘had it’.
The commentary is instructive:
“As history advances, the signs are that sin is on the increase; sin is the ultimate cause of the new plagues which threaten the world. “It must be added that on the horizon of contemporary civilization - especially in the form that is most developed in the technical and scientific sense - the signs and symptoms of death have become particularly present and frequent. One has only to think of the arms race and of the inherent danger of nuclear self-destruction. Moreover, everyone has become more and more aware of the grave situation of vast areas of our planet, marked by death-dealing poverty and famine. It is a question of problems that are not only economic but also and above all ethical. But on the horizon of our era there are gathering ever darker ‘signs of death’: a custom has become widely established - in some places it threatens to become almost an institution - of taking the lives of human beings even before they are born or before they reach the natural point of death.””
(Pope John Paul II, Dom. Et Viv., 57)
The Navarre Bible New Testament, Compact Edition, Commentary on Revelation 15:5-16:21
Right about now would perhaps be a good time to repeat that whisper - in fact, to shout it from the rooftops.
“THERE IS NO RESURRECTION WITHOUT DEATH.”
We keep trying to wrap our little brains around ‘what’s happening’ and ‘how will it all turn out?’. But if you recall, Jesus was very different after the resurrection. For one thing, Mary Magdalene clung to him - and still didn’t recognize Jesus. Two of his followers walked several miles with him down the road - and had no clue who he was. And he fixed a delicious breakfast on the beach for his apostles - while they pondered who in the world was out that early in the morning. But they all eventually recognized him - either in his voice, his action, his words, his sacrifice, his wounds or his love.
So, I would guess that my trying to envision what this world will look like once it is finally ‘dead’ is a fairly fruitless endeavor.
But equally important is the fact that the continual despair and dread I feel at seeing it all beginning to implode is, well, unnecessary.
Is our world dying? Most probably.
Will that ultimately matter? Well, if history is any indication, then - No.
We are all staring right at a Resurrection coming straight at us with increasing speed each and every day. Now, isn’t that a good thing? As Paul says, this world has been groaning in travail since Adam - and we have been groaning right along with it.
(“We know that all creation is groaning in labor pains even until now.” Romans 8:22)
Imagine the glory of actually BEING in the generation that watches this new birth come about! It’s not like Jesus didn’t already tell us:
“But when these signs begin to happen, stand erect and raise your heads because your redemption is at hand.”
I think I like the contemporary version even better:
“When all of this starts to happen, up and on your feet. Stand tall with your heads high.
Help is ON THE WAY!”
Luke 21:28 The Message
So, is this not a time to actually be celebrating?
For “it will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed.”
1 Cor 15:52
Do you know how many generations have been waiting for this? What if it is in the blink of OUR eye? What if WE will be the generation transformed; who gets to watch God doing his thing once again?!
But we need not wait until then to finally realize that we have no fear of destruction, dying and death; because we follow Jesus.
And He knows His Way OUT of the tomb…
So, the next headline you read; repeat after me with excitement and joy:
“Maranatha Jesus, please come!”
Ashley and Susan
Two women asking the world to not just hope, but to Hope in Love.