It’s Resurrection Sunday and it’s time we got a little more apocalyptic I reckon.
But don’t take my word for it, just read the newspapers. In fact here’s what I read today in The Australian, in relation to the events of the last week:
The structures of the world are trembling
That’s the memorable line from The Australian’s excellent foreign editor, Greg Sheridan, who couldn’t have said it any better if he’d lifted it straight from the Bible’s apocalyptic writings.
And he’s right. You’d have to have been hiding under a rock the last week to think otherwise. Another week another atrocity in the middle of the self-proclaimed future of the planet (post-Enlightenment EU Europe), and it’s all going pear-shaped. Trembling indeed.
It’s kinda telling that this line was written on Easter Saturday, where it looked like everything had fallen apart.
Biblical Christians see these trembling world structures from two perspectives; one perspective from “down here” and all the muddling chaos; and the other perspective from “up there”, by dint of God’s revelation to us, fully and finally through Christ, confirmed to us by the Bibles apocalyptic take on the world, a take that is otherwise unseen unless God reveal it.
So, yes, world structures are indeed trembling; we have been told so in Daniel7-12, Mark 14, the Revelation of St John, so we should not be surprised by current events, or future ones for that matter.
And neither should we tremble. It’s Resurrection Sunday tomorrow. And Resurrection Sunday signed the death warrant of this world structures. And it all began with some trembling of its own:
Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2 And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3 His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4 And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. 5 But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. 6 He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. (Matt 28:1-6)
The world structures, represented here by the guards who were posted to ensure this Jesus thing went no further, “trembled and became like dead men”. The earthquake represents God shaking the whole thing apart.
The angel, however, stills the fear of the women, because Jesus has risen! There is no need to tremble. The new world structure has a stable, unshakeable foundation whose architect and builder is God, and whose once-for-all ruler is King Jesus.
The world structures in their rebellion against the King fell in fear that first Resurrection morning before the reality of a new age exploding into the old, a new world structure of truth and love and beauty and holiness and compassion and bravery had risen to take its place. A new world structure exhibited in exciting, but fractured glimpses among the new world people – the church of Jesus Christ.
So, will we have another Brussels? Another Paris? Another Syria? Yes, we probably will. And will our world leaders mouth empty platitudes to appease us, or shout bellicose threats to satisfy us? Yes again.
But Resurrection Sunday tells us this:
15 Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.” 16 And the twenty-four elders who sit on their thrones before God fell on their faces and worshiped God, 17 saying,
“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty,
who is and who was,
for you have taken your great power
and begun to reign.
18 The nations raged,
but your wrath came,
and the time for the dead to be judged,
and for rewarding your servants,[c] the prophets and saints,
and those who fear your name,
both small and great,
and for destroying the destroyers of the earth.”
19 Then God’s temple in heaven was opened, and the ark of his covenant was seen within his temple. There were flashes of lightning, rumblings,[d] peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail. (Rev 11:15-19)
Happy Resurrection Sunday.