A Morning Peacock of Links (3/12)

The Resurrection: Life, Not Lullaby

If a nurse at the bedside withheld a cure for cancer when she had it in her power to administer it, we would think her monstrous. And yet this man, who could offer resurrection at the bedside, thought the idea ridiculous. Perhaps he, like Kay and Richard, believed that the resurrection is nothing more than a lullaby: a little lie told to children at bedtime to keep them from crying but little more than an embarrassment if carried over into adult life. Far too trivial to be brought up when someone was actually dying.

But Jesus says: “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die” (John 11:25-26).

When Jesus said this, his aim was not to give us pretty, poetic rhymes with which to try and numb the pain. He means us to know that he, Jesus Christ, has the real, physical answer to real, physical death. And immediately after he said those words, he proved they were more than music—by raising a man to life who had been in the tomb four days.

This is the only belief that can truly keep us from abject despair. And it is not a placebo. It is the cure.

Five Reasons the Father Silently Said “No” to the Son in Gethsemane

Because the Father answered “No,” sinners have a High Priest perfectly intimate with all their weaknesses, merciful and faithful.  We have One we can approach for grace.  Because the Father answered “No,” we have one who stands between us in all our ungodliness and God in all His holiness to reconcile us and reunite us as friends rather than rebels.  Because the Father answered “No,” those who have faith in Christ need never fear the Father’s wrath again; His anger has been fully satisfied in the Son’s atonement.  Because the Father said “No,” we stand assured that our acceptance with God happened on completely legitimate grounds–no parlor tricks, no loopholes, no legal fiction, no injustice to threaten or question the exchange of our sin for Jesus’ righteousness.  Because the Father said “No,” we will forever enjoy and share the glory of Father and Son in unending, timeless age to come.

I’m so glad the Father said “No.”

The Vow

Tim Challies’ review of the book that inspired the movie. Interestingly, I had no idea that the book was based on real events (as written and experienced by the authors Kim and Krickitt Carpenter. I also had no idea that the authors are devout Christians. When I first heard about the movie, I immediately thought of the covenantal undertones that must be present within the movie. Now knowing the background of the movie and the book, I guess my gut feeling was correct.

On Kony and Viruses

ParadoxUganda (the blog of Uganda missionaries of Scott and Jennifer Myhre) on KONY 2012 and Invisible Children. A well-balanced account in which Jennifer discusses what she liked and what has bothered her about IC and the viral video/movement/etc:

So I want to end with two bigger picture comments about viruses and Kony. First, while the video has gone “viral”, one could say that Kony himself is like a virus. A harmful, infective particle that has to commandeer the resources of healthy cells to exist and propagate. But as Solzhenitsyn wrote, the line between good and evil runs through every human heart. Kony’s heart, and mine. Do I believe this man is redeemable? Am I? Well, is there any evil too great for God to forgive? Kony is a human being, not a virus. As are his victims. We can learn from our brothers and sisters in Rwanda and South Africa, and from those who are attempting peace and reconciliation in Northern Uganda, and South Sudan. Africans lead the world in forgiveness. The success of rebuilding Rwanda came from a military intervention to stop the genocide and establish safety (a local military, after the failure of the international peacekeepers). Then a public, organized, system of trial for bringing the leaders to justice. And then a community-level system for re-assimilating the perpetrators, for telling the truth, for acts of forgiveness. Africans know how to do this in ways that are amazing and humbling, and we shouldn’t get in the way.

Second, Jesus and politics do mix, just not in the way most think. Jesus was a politically challenging figure. It is good for Christians to think about and involve themselves in issues like war and international courts and school buildings and media. But we shouldn’t confuse our American ideals with Christian truths. Sometimes they are parallel, but often they are not. Even as Jesus lived on earth, much of what he said was politically shocking and confusing to his followers and detractors alike.

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