Tuesday, April 03, 2007

The Resurrection is the Kingdom of God

Jesus predicted that some of his disciples wouldn't die until they saw the kingdom of God (Mark 9:1). As far as Mark is concerned, that prophecy began to be fulfilled just "six days later" when Jesus was transfigured before three of the twelve. Jesus was radiant that day, all white and sparkly. Indeed, the metamophosis of Jesus was (in the words of Richard Hays) a "sneak preview of Easter." Glorious. Brilliant. Shining. A shade of white no laundry could produce (no kidding, Mark).

I think it's significant that Jesus said some of his disciples wouldn't die until they saw the glory of the kingdom. He didn't use any other benchmark for life. "I tell you, some of you won't get married until . . . some of you won't leave the country until . . . some of you won't observe another seder until . . ." No. It was the terminus of life--death itself--which hung over all their heads like a guillotine. And, ironically, it would be the death of Jesus that would bring about the end of death's reign. For, when Christ was raised from the dead, the glory of God's kingdom was revealed. Jesus killed death, our greatest enemy, so that life would reign forevermore.

In Mark's gospel, the disciples never got to see the fulfillment of that prophecy. All they had to go on was what they heard: Christ is risen and he goes ahead to meet you, "just as he said he would." And so it is.


matt gallion said...

i like that part where you said Jesus was "all white and sparkly." That's funny.

Denny Reeves said...

Great blog! Paula found it last night! Hope all is well with the family! Have a wonderful Easter!

ricky said...

amazing how they saw Jesus kill death and as a result they would choose to be killed. His rule over our strongest ruler, sin and death, warrants a life lived dangerously. thanks for teaching an active faith.

Michael Gilley said...

This is great. I especially like the Hebrews theology drawn in with Christ defeating the number one fear, the fear of death. Upon it hinges everything worldly doesn't it?