Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Resurrection According to Rob Bell

In the past, I never really got Easter. It celebrates Christ's resurrection, but a big part of me has always asked "what does that have to do with me"? The atonement is understandably very important, but Easter celebrates something that happened three days later, that has nothing to do with Christ's all-encompassing sacrifice. Compared with this atonement and my own resurrection, the actual bodily arising of Christ seemed like just a mere historical event to me, without any impact on my life. Then, I saw this video:

It is by Rob Bell, who is, as far as Protestants go, my favorite preacher. He is renowned for putting a shiny new coat of paint on Christianity, to make it more accessible to a modern audience. But he is also very good at seeing to the heart of the Christian story and understanding the common themes that tie all the doctrines together, kind of like a less-eloquent C. S. Lewis.

This video is an example of that tendency. He takes the resurrection story, something that people usually see on the surface level, and analyzes its personal and metaphysical connotations. Essentially, he says that the resurrection of Christ means that nothing good will ever be lost or forgotten. While we may be tempted to think that all good things will ultimately come to an end, he says that "every fair act of business or trade" and "every kind word" matters. Resurrection means that though despair, worry, evil or death may seem to win the battle, it is only a temporary victory, and that hope, goodness and life will win the war. It means that the world is and ultimately will be a good place, where everything virtuous, lovely, of good report or praiseworthy lives and goes on.

What I took away from this is that when we celebrate Easter, we aren't necessarily celebrating Christ's resurrection alone. We are celebrating the inevitable resurrection of the entire world, including me, you and everything good that you've come to know.

I leave this message with you, hoping that we all will see that goodness and life will win the war, and that evil and death will lose. Happy Easter!

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