Explorations in Theology

The series explores a theology that is human friendly! Jesus as the true human shows us who God is, and because of his consideration for us ('who are we, that God should make note of us?') defines who humanity was created to be. The nature of sin is to fall short of the glory of God. The glory of God as revealed in the truly human one - 'we beheld his glory full of grace and truth'. This volume is a foundation for the other volumes. And there are ZOOM groups available...
Volume 2 Significant Other and Volume 3 A Subversive Movement now also available!
El libro electrónico (en Español) también ya está disponible
.

So go on... you know you want to!!! Order a copy Boz Publications

Time warp

There is a Scripture that records a strange event post-the resurrection of Jesus. So strange that a number of commentators suggest it was symbolic / theological not an actual event in space-time. I beg to disagree.

Then Jesus cried again with a loud voice and breathed his last. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. The earth shook, and the rocks were split. The tombs also were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. After his resurrection they came out of the tombs and entered the holy city and appeared to many (Matt. 27:50-53).

It takes place in two steps. Tombs were opened at the moment of death. The realm of the dead is manifestly being impacted at that moment. Something happening visibly with the tombs and probably something happening invisibly to sheol / hades. Then after the resurrection of Jesus there was a resurrection, ahead of schedule(!), for those whose tombs had been made visible. Those saints, in resurrected form, appear to many in the city. The language and the timing of the events indicate to me that we are to read it as a literal occurrence, that was verifiable through eye-witnesses. The language is no different to that of the resurrection of Jesus, who appeared to many eye-witnesses.

A time warp? I think so. It seems to me that the resurrection of the dead is a future event, one that takes place when Jesus returns. Those who are dead rise, and come with the Lord and we are bodily transformed at that time, the time of the parousia. Yet here are saints in Matthew’s account who are raised – and it would seem raised (as per Jesus with resurrected bodies) not simply resuscitated (as per Lazarus, raised to die again). One of the the major future events happening out of time sequence… says a lot about the resurrection of Jesus. (Maybe an implication here such as what I wrote yesterday; the clock no longer being the instrument that tells the time, but people conversing together?)

I have very little idea what happens to those who have died; or to put it another way as to where they are / what is their state. I do know they are secure in the Lord, and the text I am considering suggests that I think there are some big surprises in it all. After all if time was disturbed (understatement!!) it is not likely we can work it all out, and along the way experiences that do not fit neatly with biblical material – after all this Scripture just does not fit well… maybe the other writers decided to stay well clear of recording this event for that reason!

2 thoughts on “Time warp

  1. It has always seemed to me that we have to get our heads outside of what we recognise as time, which is just calculated by the Earth turning around the Sun, as if that was all that happens in the universe. God is evidently outside of time in that sense, to have created the earth in the first place and with comments like 1000 years being as a day – so in that scenario, what is “ahead of schedule”? Jesus confined himself to time as much as to a human body, but ultimately can’t be bound by it. Having grown up reading “Tom’s Midnight Garden” which quotes Revelation 10 v6 in the KJV “… there shall be time no longer” as opposed to the NIV’s “No more delay” it is a concept that has long played around the corners of my mind (although I have no idea which is the closer translation, or if perhaps both ideas are contained in the original text). I’m sure it’s part of all that which we can’t really imagine yet, but will one day know.

  2. How do we know? Yes, I am sure that there will be big surprises. But your point that ‘they are secure in the Lord’ is central for me. Hope.
    Martin, you mention that you have little idea what happens to those who have died. There are many views of course but I appreciated a book by David Oliver titled ‘All About Heaven’. It explores some of these questions from a personal and explorative perspective. Obviously not definitive but thought provoking.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Post section built on the WordPress platform. | Theme: Perspectives 18, a fully-responsive, mobile-first design developed by © Martin Scott. | Site contents © Perspectives, 2007 - 2022, all rights reserved. | If interested in a customised site email: Martin Scott.
Perspectives