Overnight, unable to sleep, I came across this verse:
‘Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.’ [John 12:24]
It strikes me how our everyday experience reflects the truth that death is not the end – so much so that the miracle of the resurrection need not be quite so difficult to believe, even for supposedly enlightened 21st century minds, who seem so certain that such things as people rising from the dead just can not happen. If they would just open their eyes they would see such impossible things happening all around them.
In my garden I have a rhubarb plant which never fails to amaze me. Towards the end of the year it disappears and, as it withdraws into the ground leaving absolutely nothing of itself to see above the surface, it looks as though it is as dead as the proverbial door nail. And yet, come the spring, new life emerges, as if from the grave. Huge leaves rapidly grow on the end of the chunky rhubarb stalks that, in time, will go on to delight me by becoming the principle ingredient of delicious crumbles and flavoursome fruit fools.
As Jesus was saying in the verse that I read earlier, my rhubarb plant is a picture that hints at the resurrection.
Likewise, as I write this, it is still dark outside. Yesterday evening the sun went down, but, in an hour or two, it will come up once more. This is another echo of the truth that death is not the end.
God in his wisdom has kindly placed in creation pictures of the deep truths of the gospel to help us see and understand.
The truth of the resurrection, in one sense therefore, is not something unfathomable, something that rational minds must struggle to believe. We see echoes of the resurrection all around us. It is as certain as day follows night.
And just as day follows night so does joy follow sadness. ‘Weeping may tarry for the night, but joy comes with the morning.’ [Psalm 30:5b] For some the night is already long and the day still seems far off but, when the last trumpet sounds, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. [1 Corinthians 15:52]
And our joy in Christ will be complete.