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James Henderson
The Roadmap Out
by James Henderson

The Roadmap OutSo, how do we get out of the mess that is coronavirus?

We want our freedom so much we can almost taste it. Like that first meal with longed for family and friends, or that summer cocktail on a holiday beach. We want the release.

Governments around the world have announced their “roadmaps” out of the crisis and we wait with bated breath, hoping there are no wrong turns and/or dead ends. Whatever happens, no one wants to go back. No one wants to return to lockdown in any form.

In the UK it’s hoped that families will be able to meet together in gardens and in other outdoor settings by Easter. It’s similar for other parts of Europe. Easter is a date in the get-out-of-the-Covid-jail calendar.

It’s interesting that it’s Easter because Easter links to an amazing event that’s about rising above our problems. You’ve probably heard of it before. Christians talk about it, and they hang onto it in the face of ridicule and disbelief. It’s called the Resurrection, and it’s about the roadmap out of the hell we’ve created for ourselves.

So, what’s it all about, this Resurrection lark? Is it the stuff of fantasy or is there any truth to it? Many cultures have their dying and rising myths, usually related to the coming of Spring – is this just another one of them?

Perhaps you remember fragments of the story. It is about God and about how he gave his only son so that anyone who believed in him would have everlasting life. It seemed laughable at the time and may still seem so today in some ways. People thought it so unlikely. Why would God, who had everything and did not need us at all, choose to do this? Surely gods don’t get involved in our lives unless it’s just for their passing pleasure or to indulge in some short-lived whim? But a God who loves us? How bizarre! Yet that is the idea. After all, this comes from a book that proclaims the primary attribute of this God is love. God is love – that is the Resurrection thought.

Back to the details. It happened about 2,000 years ago, but it’s still relevant in 2021. Jesus, the Son of God, was killed by the Roman method of execution reserved for the worst criminals: crucifixion. There had been a mock trial beforehand, but Jesus was innocent. It was all part of a divine plan whereby humanity could be released from the bondage of its own mistakes and sins – a kind of lockdown that held us captive. 3 days after his death, God raised this Jesus from the grave, thus paving the way for the resurrection of everyone and for the renewal of everything. Since then, Christians have put their faith in the resurrected Christ, believing that, in life as in death, Christians are more than conquerors, so that not even death can separate them from the love of God. Sounds too good to believe, or does it?

The Roadmap OutThe early Christians were convinced that Jesus had risen from the dead in their recent history. Is there any way to prove this now? How about the written evidence they left us of lives changed by this conviction? The world was turned upside down by it! Through belief in it, their lives and outlook were transformed. They followed the pattern of the resurrection by metaphorically putting to death old habits by embracing that victory and rising to put on new ways of living and behaviour. They chose to live the love of the God of love. Is a changed life evidence of the resurrection? People gave up lives of power and prestige in order to follow Jesus and to live out the hope of the resurrection. For them, faith was a sham without it. There had to be renewal, a rising again.

It’s the same for Christians nowadays. In one way, little has changed in that regard. We Christians still believe. There is still the dying of the old self and the rising up to live a new life in Christ here and now. And still the hope that when we die there is a better life ahead of us, that is, the Resurrection.

When you think of it, surely the world needs a resurrection. According to the Christian Bible, it’s going to happen. Not just the world as we know it, but also the entire universe is involved. Not just humanity, but all of life. It’s about rising to a compete renewal of everything, including desolate planets. The plan is to restore all things, whether on earth or in the heavens, through Christ’s death and resurrection. It’s like a roadmap to the future.

Should we bother about all this right now? I suggest we should. Just like it’s time to climb out of the pandemic, perhaps it’s time to change our lives on so many other levels. It’s possible to be changed from the inside out. To be changed spiritually. To join in with the dying and rising of Christ.

Follow the Resurrection Road.

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