The Beauty of the Resurrection
“Old school is good school.” I am an old school brother. I still listen to and enjoy the jams from decades ago, songs which warm my heart and stir my soul in my pursuit of the upward call of the prize. Larnelle Harris, a popular Christian solo artist of days gone by, had a song I’ve enjoyed for years called “I Can Begin Again.” This striking lyric ended with the line, “New beginnings are not just for the young.” The logic of the song is powerful and wonderful. In Christ, we can begin again, we can start anew, be delivered from the effects of the past and positioned to experience a new life today and eternal life in the consummated Kingdom. Because of the resurrection, we can all begin again.
In my judgment, that is the actual beauty of the resurrection. That remarkable event took place in an impossibly negative and depressing situation. After the climactic week of Jesus’ sham trial, horrible suffering and misery, the disciples witnessed his brutal, cruel death on a Roman torture stake. The one they believed would be the Messianic deliverer of the nation had been crucified, and now, they sheltered alone in fear and dread, hoping now to suffer the same fate as their Master. The disciples were broken, shamed, and crushed. With Jesus’ death, their Kingdom hopes had been demolished. They were hopeless, and their condition was sad and pitiful. With his death, this was the end. Or so they thought.
When Jesus made himself known to the women at the tomb, and later, to his disciples, he introduced them to a fuller comprehension of God’s kingdom plan of transformation and blessing. In his coming back to life, he revealed God’s acceptance of his sacrifice, his victory of the devil’s power of the fear of death, and his triumph over the grave and the curse. His resurrection ushered in a new age, filled with forgiveness and regeneration, blessing and hope, not just for Abraham’s descendants by birth, but for all people of whatever culture or kindred. For everyone who has been subject to the powers of the fall, he offers release and freedom. For anyone who has ever lived as a victim under the domination of Satan, he offers adoption into God’s family and the hope of eternal life. And, for anyone who has lost hope that anything can differ from that same defeated, drudgery and shame they’ve experienced their whole lives long, he offers new hope. With the resurrection, things can begin again. Life can be rebooted. You can know a new start.
The beauty of the resurrection is rooted in this capacity to transcend the old and welcome the new. In Christ, we can all be reborn, remade, and our lives can be reimagined, under the control of God’s Spirit. God does give beauty for ashes and the oil of joy for mourning. Affirm the truth. Begin again, because new beginnings are not just for the young.