Faith musings from the seat of a forklift.
It is never a good thing when a piece of equipment goes down. Over the years that I have worked in shipping I have seen equipment fail at the worst times and in ways that I would never want to see again. I have had engines overheat while I am operating the forklift. I have had hydraulic lines burst spraying fluid into my face. I have even had the entire fork assembly of my lift snap off of the mast while lifting a pallet. Equipment breakdowns cost time and money, and they just plain suck.
What about our bodies? Lets be honest, we are not necessarily as strong or resilient as we like to believe. It matters little how much time we spending participating in athletic events or exercise at the local gym, our bodies can only take so much before they finally give out. Diets and vitamin supplement can help to keep our bodies functioning to an extent. However, eventually we will breakdown and no longer be able to function. What then?
For the atheist, there is no real answer. The atheist is forced to assume that when we die, existence ends. However, we all know that when we assume something, we make an ass of you and me (yes, I said that quite publically). However, if we truly trust in God and our Lord Christ Jesus, there is an answer. It can be found plainly throughout the Bible. It is a simple answer, but it is quite profound. Jesus promises that we will be resurrected at the last day.
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus was confronted about the resurrection by the Sadducees. Ironic, as they did not believe in the resurrection. They challenged Jesus with a situation that, in likelihood, had recently happened. It was a situation involving a set of seven brothers. It seems one had gotten married, but died before his wife could bear children. His brother married the widow and then likewise died. Ultimately, all seven had married her, then died. Lastly she died. The Sadducees asked Jesus who’s wife she would be at the resurrection. Jesus saw right through them. He made it abundantly clear that there would be a resurrection and that none marry nor are given in marriage at the resurrection. Jesus also stated that they could no longer die.
Some scoff at the idea of the resurrection. Lets be honest, it has been over 2000 years since those words were spoken and Jesus still has not returned. Indeed, Douglas Adams indirectly sneered at the Christian belief in the resurrection with his book “Restaurant at the End of the Universe”. Indeed, his situation involved a group of people sitting at a restaurant that exists, impossibly, at the very end of time, and they are still waiting for the return of their great prophet/sage. The master of ceremonies mentions them and their hope of the prophet’s return as they start the countdown to the end of the universe. Amazingly, the prophet arrives at the last second before space and time come to a dramatic end. Adams would thus have us believe that Jesus will not return and that it wouldn’t matter if he did return. Sadly, Douglas Adams committed suicide.
In truth, the fact that people would scoff at the idea of the return of Christ and the resurrection was anticipated. In 2 Peter 3, we are explicitly warned that people would scoff and say “Where is this promised return of his?” Peter reminds us that time is nothing to God and he is longsuffering in his patience towards us. Indeed, we also read plainly in the Apocalypse that there will be a resurrection and that God will judge all of humanity at that time. Further proof that there will be a future resurrection can be found in the fact that the Lazarus was resurrected once before (that he will be raised twice will be an interesting experience to hear about). Jesus proved his power over death by raising up Lazarus once before. If he can do it once, he can easily do it again.
In some respect, when we are resurrected, it will be akin to having a forklift or other piece of equipment breaking down and being rebuilt. However, unlike that rebuilt piece of equipment, which will still have a chance of failure due to another worn out part, we won’t have to worry about our bodies breaking down again. The fact is that they will be made perfect, even as Christ Jesus is perfect. This is promised in 1 Corinthians 15. Thus, it will be that at the resurrection we will be made better than just a rebuilt. We shall be made new.
In the here and now we do what we can to maintain our vehicles and equipment. We also do what we can to maintain our bodies and spirit. Just as our vehicles and equipment will only last for so long, so too, our bodies have only a limited amount of time on this side of the veil of eternity. However, we can take hope that at the resurrection, our Lord and God, Christ Jesus will raise us up and make us whole again. This is the hope that all who believe in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior can look forward to. It is in this hope that we can live, even when things around us, and our own bodies, are falling apart. Jesus died for our sins and can raise up again at the last time. This is most certainly true.