Today I was speaking at church on resurrection, particularly drawing on Paul’s impassioned teaching about the centrality of resurrection to Christian faith. This makes clear that the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ is central to the Christian faith. Jesus isn’t the only person raised from the dead in the Bible (and that, in itself is a big step beyond mere resuscitation, where someone is brought back from this side of the brink of death) but he is the first and so far only person raised in an immortal, imperishable body. Read 1 Corinthians 15 for the full story.
One of my supplementary points, but my way in, was the observation that Paul seems quite ‘caught up’ as he writes, carried along with passion and wonder particularly as the chapter reaches its climax. That’s not an uncommon experience. I described how I might get caught up playing music, reading a story or even, sometimes, when preaching; if we’d stopped at that point for a discussion, I expect I might have found other examples I hadn’t begun to imagine from other people’s experiences too.
I film I recently watched, Soul (2020), gives a lovely visual illustration of this. When its protagonist gets carried away playing jazz piano you see him transported as if to another dimension. Later in the film (and without wanting to give away any spoilers) it becomes apparent that he truly is touching another dimension at those times. Here is my closing section from the talk as I circled back to join things up:
Finally, a reflection on being ‘caught up’. It is a wonderful and worthy experience but it rarely comes when you seek it for itself. Instead, it often comes as the result of putting in the hard miles. You’ve done those long hours of hidden practise to hone a skill. You’ve kept on being faithful, even when it hurt. Perhaps like Paul – or like our Lord, Jesus – you know what it is to be poured out? In the year that lies ahead, keep on keeping on and may you also know something of what it is to be caught up.