He is Risen but…
Is Jesus a zombie wizard who also knows kung fu???
The obvious answer to this question is, “NO, course not!”
The quote (Jesus is a zombie wizard who also knows kung fu) comes from a song called WWJD? by the band Axis of Awesome (if you are of a delicate mindset don’t listen to it, you won’t enjoy it, I love it but then again I have a very weird sense of humour). But it is a question that the church needs to address.
Is Jesus a undead sorcerer who can fly and do kung fu and shoot laser beams from his eyes and do ballet on Saturdays and just about anything else he wants to whenever he feels like it?
This is what a lot of society seem to think; it’s mainstream thought – Jesus is some kind of magic zombie, raised to life, not to eat our brains but, to show us how to do good things for other people and generally be nice.
But that is not what the resurrection is. We’ve lost the meaning; we’ve lost the mystery; we’ve lost the depth of what it truly is.
Now, as we all know strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government and a fairytale about a zombie with mystical powers is no basis for the founding of a religion. Nor should it be – if that is all we have then we may as well be the Church of Buffy or the Temple of Spike.
But that is not what we believe. At the very core of what we, as a church, believe is the fact that we serve a risen Lord; a resurrected Jesus, and the resurrection is far more than just a story; it’s bigger than a note on the page of history; it’s what makes Christianity so appealing to so many. It’s the living proof that a new start is possible.
That’s what resurrection is….but, you say;
“We’ve all seen Lord of the Rings – it’s that bit where Gandalf comes back as the White Wizard – that’s resurrection, isn’t it?”
“What about The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – Aslan and the broken stone table – that’s what it’s all about, I’m sure of it.”
Yes, in some way I suppose it is but it is also far more – Like Gandalf and Aslan, Jesus was seen by many people after that first Easter Sunday morning. Like the White Wizard and the friendly lion he also did some pretty cool things for a guy who had been dead for three days; they led armies and defeated Sauron and the wicked Queen, Jesus cooked breakfast and walked through walls (read the Gospels it’s all there, I’m not making this stuff up).
So yes, the resurrection is important; Jesus rose from the dead (we cannot stress the enormity of this enough) but many in the church aren’t sure exactly what that means.
For some it’s the simple (????) idea that Jesus rose from the dead – literally came back to life and was a walking, talking person again. No different from before except for a few nail holes.
For others it is more the idea of a spiritual resurrection, that he came back as some form of visible spirit, seen by many, able to speak and act as Jesus did. These are just two of loads of thoughts on what the resurrection is.
But what it is is nowhere near as important as what it means. Whatever you believe and however you perceive the resurrection, the stunning fact surrounding it is that Jesus is still knowable, we can still encounter Jesus and the power of the resurrection today. It’s all about a new start and the power to rebuild.
That’s the message of the resurrection. It’s the story of a new start. I love the resurrection because for me it sums up what the we, as the Church, are all about.
You see for me the Church is a place of resurrection, a place of new beginnings. The resurrection is a cosmic statement that no one is so far gone that they cannot be brought back. Even death cannot stop resurrection – that’s the Easter message. Not that Jesus is a Zombie wizard who may, or may not, know Kung Fu but that we are all offered the chance of a new start through the events of that first Easter Sunday morning.
I cannot tell you how many times I have seen this happen but I can tell you every time it is special, every time it is unique. And it never gets old.
I’ve seen the homeless person who finally realises that they have worth and that God loves them for who they are not what they think they should be – that’s resurrection!
I’ve seen the be-suited businessman too busy for God who finally sees that God isn’t too busy for him – that’s resurrection.
I’ve also seen the young person confused about who and what they are but, at last, understanding that God loves them anyway – that’s resurrection
I’ve been there and seen the old lady in hospital who, in recounting her life story to a newly ordained minister, sees the impact God has had on others through what she has done and weeps tears of joy – that’s resurrection.
I’ve witnessed the gay guy who hated God who, when he found his true love, realised that it wasn’t God who hated him at all, it was just some of his so called helpers – that’s resurrection – right there.
Or it may be one of millions of other people who find that God is not what they expected but exceeds all they ever thought – that’s resurrection.
If you are looking for a kung fu chopping, magic wielding zombie called Jesus – you won’t find him here but you will find an ever loving Christ who will not give up on you even when you give up on him.
Happy Easter and remember –
NEVER UNDERESTIMATE THE POWER OF GOD TO RESURRECT!