DALRY TRINITY CHURCH
At Easter we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus. Uniquely, Christians do not remember a dead leader, far less do we simply follow the teachings of a deceased hero. Rather, at the very heart of the Christian faith, is loving fellowship with a living Lord. Jesus is the King who is present with us, in the power of his Spirit, because he is alive. He is also the king who will one day return to fully implement the kingdom he inaugurated, the life of which is represented in his resurrection.
Many people are familiar with the legends of king Arthur. He was an ideal king who reigned in justice, restored peace and brought prosperity. His tomb is said to bear the inscription ‘Here lies Arthur, the once and future king.’ He was once king, but will one day be king again. It is a promise that the king whose brief reign had been a time of unparalleled blessing would one day come back to make things right.
Jesus is our once and future king. The difference is that his rule has already begun. His resurrection means that the life of the kingdom is already available. By faith we get to glimpse and taste the life and powers of the kingdom that is to come.
Let me illustrate. In 2009 a new Star Trek movie was released, directed by JJ Abrams. In the story, an elderly Mr Spock travelled back in time and by doing so was able to provide key information to the young Starship Enterprise crew, enabling them to save planet earth. You don’t need to be a Trekkie to grasp the illustration. Something of the future was brought back to secure life in the present.
The resurrection of Jesus brings the future kingdom of God into the present. The life of the resurrected Jesus belongs to that future kingdom to which we may now belong. When that future kingdom is fully established with the return of the king then there will be peace, prosperity and nature itself will be healed.
Let me quote Timothy Keller:
‘The resurrection was indeed a miraculous display of God’s power, but we should not see it as a suspension of the natural order of the world. Rather it was the beginning of the restoration of the natural order of the world, the world as God intended it to be. Since humanity turned away from God, both the human and natural worlds have been dominated by sin and evil, disorder and disease, suffering and death. But when Jesus rose from the dead, he inaugurated the first stage of the coming of God’s kingdom power into the world to restore and heal all things.’
Now there is hope!