1. Seeing Beyond the Dark Glass

"For I know..."  Jeremiah 29:11

Music plays quietly. Some people occupy their waiting with whispered conversations. Some just want to be silent. A few are there out of duty. For others it’s loyalty. Most are there simply for the family. Farewell my love. Goodbye dear friend.

Sadness, loss, pain, indifference and hope. A whole range of emotions quarantined together. The music stops. The vicar speaks. “Stand.”

As voices sing, eyes watch the reality of death being carried. As the coffin is rested how many stop singing or listening and wrestle with the thought ‘is this it? How many Christians, about their own faith ask, “Am I right?”

At a funeral, more than any other perhaps, is the time we might most wonder about the incredible claim of Christianity that this is not the end and we will be awoken from death’s slumber. Perhaps, more than any other time, it is now that our nose gets pressed against the dark glass. At a time of someone’s death, more than at any other, our vision can be dimmed. We long to see beyond the glass but everything human in us makes it hard to look at anything other than what we see here and now.

If you’ve been there, you’re not alone. A group of people in a sun-soaked city in a country now a very popular holiday spot were asked:

“…how can you stand there and say there is no such thing as the resurrection of the dead?”  1 Cor. 15:12 The Voice

The country is Greece, the city is Corinth and the people are worrying. They too couldn’t see beyond the physical. Paul doesn’t pull his punches:

“…if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile…If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.”  1Cor.15: 17 & 19.

Yet, what has Paul already said earlier to these people, which carries such impact in these words? Well he says this “he appeared...”  v7

If seeing is believing then this is the clincher. Paul is saying this is no send up: historical fact, eyewitness intel confirms the risen Jesus appeared to lots of people and I’ve actually spoken with some of them and heard it for myself.

RobinF

 Next Time: Do you wear your spectacles?