The Resurrection Trip
Once, I went white water rafting. That was an adventure I personally never wish to repeat! But, I will not forget it. Someone ended up on the bottom of a raging river, held down by a sunken log. Fortunately, a much younger man than I was at the time rescued the woman! I, later in my past, meditated in the giant Coastal Redwoods, and first looked upon the grandeur of Zion National Park. All these travels erect towering memories which endure beyond the erosion of time! Speaking of journeys, the Jewish men were required to make three trips to Jerusalem annually. Jerusalem was the place where Adam’s skull was ultimately buried, according to some proclamations with records, by a person of God who cared. There abides speculation that the geographical heart of Jerusalem was, in earlier times, the center of Eden! It was also, the spot where Mount Mariah stands which once supported the threshing floor of Ornan the Jebusite, which King David purchased at great expense, as the site to build Solomon’s Temple. Previously, this location had been the very mountain where Father Abraham had climbed to sacrifice Isaac. Abraham became the first believer in Resurrection and saw Christ’s Day ages before it was manifested to others!
How important is resurrection? Without it, I am reminded of a mentor who said he always asks every intelligent, elderly person what is the number one thing that they have learned in life. I quizzed the first spry looking gentleman, with this recommended question, only to get a surprising response! Aged and intellectual in appearance, he hesitated thoughtfully, and then he spoke: “Oh, I guess not anything important!” Without resurrection, life is as meaningless as this gent’s forthrightness reveals! We are just rotting bones in a grave, if there is no resurrection from death!
“Jesus Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead.” (Romans 1:4) Those Jews who in order to obey God, had to make many journeys to Jerusalem from everywhere in Israel, no doubt never forgot those trips! Jerusalem is where Christ will one day rule the world from. This is the place where God chose to put His name. Legions would have it that Adam’s skull was actually taken to what we know as a hill in Jerusalem called Golgotha today. The head was buried where Jesus blood shed on the cross would reach deep enough into time and dirt to reach Adam’s skull to symbolize that even Adam was restored by the reach of the blood of Christ. Cleansing by the blood qualifies us for resurrection. We must be washed in the blood of Jesus, because all people were given free will. Like Adam, we too, chose to go our rebellious and errant way!
There had to be both a tree of life and the death dealing tree of the knowledge of good and evil in the garden. If Adam and his family could not choose between life and death connected to these two trees, he would have no way to exercise his free will. Adam knew what God had spoken before hand and he chose to eat from the deadly tree anyway, because he believed the lie of the destroyer.
The people of Israel who chose to obey God and make the trips to Jerusalem, made their journey to the place where Resurrection Life first began. I can tell you one thing about Resurrection. Like my trip to Zion, Niagara Falls and the Grand Teton’s. You will never forget a demonstration of Resurrection once you experience it. I have witnessed four Resurrections as I mention in other places: one of them involved Romance the sheep; one of a young yak bull; one of a whitetail deer and finally, one when I was born-again spiritually. I prayed like a maniac in two of these cases which involved domestic animals. I shouted to God and demanded He resurrect both Romance and the yak bull because I loved them and I reminded Him that He had the power of resurrection. Jesus Christ is the Resurrection and the Life!
Recently, I remembered that our “faith” works by love. Galatians 5:6 says, “For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision avails any thing, or no circumcision: but faith which works by love.” Resurrection does not depend on anything we do other than believe in God’s love and ability. And God’s love, flowing through us, for those we are claiming resurrection for. From the beginning, trips to Jerusalem turned out to be trips to the place where Resurrection became the centerpiece. No good Jewish person should have been able to make that journey without perceiving this: from ancient times even prior, to the building of this city, Jerusalem has been the place where God Almighty focused his teachings and illustrations of the power and hope Resurrection gives even me and you and tormented creatures who can, at this time, only grunt and groan and greatly respond to love!
Jewish worshippers, ultimately destined for Jerusalem, were instructed to love God with all of their heart and soul and mind and strength, so as offspring of Abraham, we should have been able to clearly perceive that God wanted us to understand what He was signifying down through the ages, where He had put His name: Resurrection! We, as followers of the Messiah, are told to forget about preaching or teaching or doing anything if we forget the importance and significance of Jerusalem or the city of God itself. It is nothing less than a teaching instrument of Resurrection Life.
All creatures are currently subject to death and all creatures have access potentially to Resurrection Life and exit from death. Animals have hope in the same One God that we Humans do, but it is all dependent upon the manifestation of the Sons of God, and not independently upon God Himself. (Romans 8:20) That in focus, God does have important roles as Heavenly Father: He must enlighten and correct us until we are put on public view as His loving Sons. To all creatures, God partially gives nurture (we have our responsibility). God sends His Spirit forth, except to those who, continue to hate Him. God produces many sons to work together with Him! This is because He loves us and we need Him, not vice versa. Resurrection and Renewal can really be hoped for and expected!
Psalms 104:28-30 says, “What you (God) give them, they gather: You open your hand and they are filled with good. You hide your face, the creatures are troubled: you take away their breath; they die and return to their dust. You send forth your Spirit, they are created: and You, Lord, renew the face of the earth.” Ecclesiastes 9:18-21 says, “I said in mine heart concerning the estate of the sons of men, that God might manifest them and that they might see that they themselves are beasts. For that which befalls the sons of men befalls beasts; even one thing befalls them: as the one dies, so dies the other; yes, they have all one breath; so that a man has no preeminence above a beast; for all is vanity. All go unto one place; all are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. Who knows that spirit of man that goes upward and the spirit of the beast that goes downward to the earth?”
This “who knows” question is answered in this self-same scripture. It is not expecting someone to come forth claiming to know (in ignorance) that animals might die and go the opposite way of human beings! The word “preeminence” mentioned above in Ecclesiastes means “superior position”. When it says humans themselves are beasts or animals, just as scientists agree, it goes on to affirm that no one knows of any difference of humans and animals or difference in events that befall them and this final commonality is death! Resurrection is the power that cancels out death and gives Life a hold on eternity.
God says in Psalm 8:5-8, “For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and has crowned him with glory and honor. Thou made him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet: All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field; the fowl of the air and the fish of the sea and whatsoever passes through the paths of the seas.” “Are the angels not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?” (Hebrews 1:14) Keep this in mind, all the angels that were sent by God are ministering spirits sent forth to minister to those who will be the heirs of salvation. The heirs of salvation according to Romans chapter 8, includes all of the creatures and if we are to be a little lower than the angels we must be conducting ourselves towards the animals with kindness and generosity. Since we are made a little lower than God (Elohiym) or the angels, we almost have reached “servant class” to serve all God has created and to serve God who is servant of all. God gave dominion to those who will be manifested as His sons. Not only are we qualified to be servants but also friends of God. That is the direction they are heading. He never gave dominion to fallen, cruel and stingy people, sinful men and those taken by Satan at his will. “Ministering” spirits which angels are means doing good, acts of kindness and generosity and comes from the word beneficent. The word “spirits” in Hebrews 1:14 actually translates “an assembly.” Again, this confirms that all the angels God sent are one assembly in character. Man was created, like the angels, all serving spirits, at their core being and man was made to be the light of the world and the protector of all the earth! Every creature is dependant upon God themselves and the Sons of God. Just in case you have any doubt about this, 1Corinthians 3:9a says, “We are laborers together with God.” This was designed to be a harmonious effort!
If you have ridden on a roller coaster or gone bungee jumping, once may have been enough. We may not love it, but it is given to mankind to die once and after that, the judgment. As we have seen in Psalms, man and beasts all suffer the same fate, but why the death? Just to observe a resurrection is a truly unforgettable event, to actually experience resurrection, is looking into the heart of God’s love! We can thank God for Him allowing death to remain, for without death, we could never know the joy of resurrection. Whether we are speaking of harpooned whale, a dead humming bird in our yard, or a transitioning loved one, without death, resurrection cannot bring us the life refreshed, for which we were made, for this mortality must put on immortality. If we suffer with Him, we shall also be glorified with Him! Can these bones live again, whether they are flying squirrel or astronaut? The gift of God is eternal life! When Resurrection Life manifests sufficiently in this warped and twisted generation, death and hell will be cast into a bottomless pit where they belong! Humanity and creation shall sing together!