It was a ‘one time event.’ In that singular event death and sin were conquered. Jesus on the cross and Jesus’ empty tomb contained the victory of Life that we, and the whole world, needed.
And yet, Jesus’ triumph over death wasn’t inconsistent with the rest of the story of God.
In the Garden of Eden all was good – and then all wasn’t so good. Humanity fell, and yet the story didn’t end there. That setback just meant that life was then lived East of Eden, not that life forever ended.
When humanity’s fall became too much for God to bear, he sent a flood to claim the life of all the breathed. But, again – it wasn’t the end. There was a boat. There was a man with a family. And there were animals of every sort there to re-seed the population of the earth.
When God’s people were slaves in Egypt, again, that could have been the end of a sad story. God’s chosen – who God had claimed over and over again in his conversations with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob – making bricks for a pagan people? But, God delivered his people with mighty acts, he spread open the waters, and the people walked through dry ground towards a land that would be their own.
When The Ark of the Covenant – the vessel upon which the Presence of the Lord rested – was captured in battle and taken and set within the pagan temple of Dagon, it looked as if Dagon had brought his people victory over God’s people and God himself. But, God would break the statue of Dagon – and break the will of the Philistine people, and God’s Ark would return to Israel.
When Jerusalem was destroyed by the Babylonians, God’s Temple desecrated and thrown down, and men, women, children, and the elderly were killed in the street – it looked like it was the end for God’s people. Those who survived were taken off to Babylon to serve as slaves. Once again God’s people were slaves to a pagan people in a foreign land. They thought it was the end. And who wouldn’t? But, God restored his people to their land and Jerusalem and the Temple were rebuilt.
This is the overarching story of the scriptures. Over and over and over again God looks like he’s been defeated. Over and over again it looks like the story is over. It appears that God had a good run, but the Cindarella story has to come to an end.
And each time, God prevails.
Seeming defeat turns into amazing victory.
That is the story of God.
And so when God’s Son – God Incarnate – dies on a cross; when his bloody corpse is hastily laid in a tomb – it looks like defeat has come. Again. And yet, to those who know the Story of God. . . you only have to wait for how God wins this time.
Because you know he does. God always does. It’s how God works.
And, if you see the pattern – and know this patter – then you also can see the ways that it works in our life. Those moments in our lives where we feel defeated, depressed, and ready to throw in the towel – that’s when we should know that God will move.
In unexpected ways – and in unexpected timing – But, God will move.
And that’s how Resurrection looks in our life. Because the Story of God isn’t just something that happened a long time ago. It happens today. It happens when we wake, and when we go to sleep. When we win and when we lose. When we die, and when we – in Christ – rise again.