Talking with Jesus (Oh yeah?) 15

“One of my colleagues, X, a true minister, has watched his wife die of cancer. I spoke with him, and could feel the force if his grief. I wasn’t sure what to say, as another colleague had told me that X had said to him, ‘ You don’t still believe in that old nonsense about eternal life, do you?’ Sometimes to be honest, Jesus, I wonder if it’s not just childish nonsense.”

“Eh, Jesus, are you on strike, like the bin men?”

“So maybe you’re too busy to talk to me….”

“No, I’m never too busy, but you have to make up your mind, whether I’m here, in which case resurrection is real, or not, in which case there’s no resurrection, and I’m not here to answer you.”

“I think you’re here and I’m not just talking to myself. So, yes, I seem to remember that you already believed in resurrection before your own?”

“Yes, there was a religious party in Judaea that considered resurrection to be a lot of childish nonsense, so they came to me with a daft story called “One bride for seven brothers” in which a woman successively marries 7 brothers all of whom die leaving her widowed. – she must have been some woman- and they asked me whose husband she would be in the resurrection. They were taking the piss. So I told them that resurrection was life with God, a great mystery, and not a replay of life on earth.”

“ Fair enough, Jesus, but didn’t you add some dodgy stuff about Abraham…?“

“I reminded them that we speak of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; and that he is not the God of the dead, but the living. If God who is eternal, enters into a relationship, the relationship and that person, are also eternal.”

“I think you were saying that if there’s no resurrection, there’s no God.”

“You could put it like that….”

“I’ve said that myself. If there isn’t resurrection to undo the suffering and injustice of this life, then there’s no God, or at any rate, no God I want to worship.”

“You think you can tell God what to do?”

“No, no, I’m concerned for the honour of God, and didn’t you tell God what to do, when you healed people?”

“Quite the opposite; I did what God wanted me to do.”

“Ok, Ok, good answer. Now, seriously, when you told the Sadducees heaven wasn’t a place for a renewal of worldly relationships, weren’t you denying the hopes of many faithful people, that they’ll meet their loved ones again in that new life?”

“It is life with God, and therefore of course life with our loved ones, but it is a mystery which we should respect as holy. As my saint, Paul, says, “We shall all be changed”

“Yeah, Paul says we shall get new bodies, which I appreciate given the state of this one.”

“Your good colleague who doesn’t believe in nonsense, maybe you shouldn’t worry about him too much. Belief in resurrection is not that much of a comfort, as you know.”

“As I know?”

You do believe in resurrection but you still grieve for your daughter. Painfully. You learn to live with loss, and he will do the same. He may not have a hope of heaven like you, but then it will be for him a more joyful surprise.

“Your words are helpful. Thank you.”

“As I’ve said before, I never tell you anything you don’t already know.”

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