Resurrection: Rob Bell

Resurrection: Rob Bell from The Work of Rob Bell on Vimeo.

Jesus is standing in front of the temple in Jerusalem
the massive gleaming brick and stone and gold house of God
and he says destroy this temple
and I’ll rebuild it in three days
the people listening to him said how are you going to do that?
it took 46 years to build this temple!
but he wasn’t talking about that temple
he’s talking about himself
he essentially says, listen
I’m going to be killed
that’s where this is headed
because you don’t confront corrupt systems of power
without paying for it
sometimes with your own blood
and so he’s headed to his execution
if you had witnessed this divine life extinguished on a cross
how would you not be overwhelmed with despair?
is the world ultimately a cold, hard, dead place?
does death have the last word?
is it truly, honestly, actually dark
and so whatever light we do see
whatever good we do stumble upon
are those just blips on the radar?
momentary interruptions in an otherwise meaningless existence?
because if that’s the case then despair is the
only reasonable response
it’s easy to be cynical
but Jesus says destroy this temple and I’ll rebuild it
he insists that his execution would not be the end
he’s talking about something new and unexpected
happening after his death
he’s talking about resurrection
resurrection announces that God has not given up on the world
because this world matters
this world that we call home
dirt and blood and sweat and skin and light and water
this world that God is redeeming and restoring and renewing
greed and violence and abuse they are not right
and they cannot last
they belong to death and death does not belong
resurrection says that what we do with our lives matters
in this body
the one that we inhabit right now
every act of compassion matters
every work of art that celebrates the good and the true matters
every fair and honest act of business and trade
every kind word
they all belong and they will all go on in God’s good world
nothing will be forgotten
nothing will be wasted
it all has it’s place
everybody believes something
everybody believes somebody
Jesus invites us to trust resurrection
that every glimmer of good
every hint of hope
every impulse that elevates the soul
is a sign, a taste, a glimpse
of how things actually are
and how things will ultimately be
resurrection affirms this life and the next
as a seamless reality
and saved by God
there is an unexpected mysterious presence
who meets each of us in our lowest moments
when we have no strength when we have nothing left
and we can’t go on we hear the voice that speaks those
destroy this temple and I’ll rebuild it
do you believe this?
that’s the question Jesus asked then
and that’s the question he asks now
Jesus’ friends arrive at his tomb and they’re told
he isn’t here
you didn’t see that coming, did you?
he’s isn’t here
there is nothing to fear
and nothing can ever be the same again
we are living in a world in the midst of rescue
with endless unexpected possibilities
they will take my life and I will die Jesus says
but that will not be the end
and when you find yourself assuming that it’s over
when it’s lost, gone, broken and it could never be
put back together again,
when it’s been destroyed and you swear that it could never
be rebuilt
hold on a minute
because in that moment
things will in fact have just begun

Video: The Cartel

This looks like an important movie.
I believe youth ministry must be involved in the local school.
I believe social justice must be involved in the local school.
Therefore I need to be involved in the local school.
I'm currently filling out the paperwork to become a substitute teacher in my community.
How about you?  What some things you do, or what are some ideas you know about, for how we can serve the local school systems?

Resurrection Meditations (Part 7 of 8)

Resurrection Letters
Meditations on the Crucifixion and Resurrection of Christ
by Andrew Peterson


I want to turn away from this part of the story.

I want to close my eyes on it, partly because my love for you makes it difficult to bear, and
partly because I am ashamed of myself. I’m afraid that I’ll see my own face in the mob,
among the teachers of the law, in Pilate, in the men who beat you. You are despised and
rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men
hide their faces.

But I watch. I watch as you are whipped, mocked, nailed to the cross, and lifted up.
I force myself to watch.

“It is finished,” you say, and then the life and light of men dies.

The mob clears beneath a black, churning sky, as black as the sorrow or terror they feel in
their chests. The Sabbath is coming, and Joseph of Arimathea of all people knows that
no man's body is to hang overnight, especially during Passover. Pilate gives his
permission and Joseph comes trembling to the foot of the cross. There stands the Jewish
leader, his robe whipping in the angry wind, his back bent before your wrecked body,
crooked on the crossbeams. Joseph lays the linen-shrouded flesh and bones of the son of
God in his own tomb just as evening descends and brings with it God's holy day of rest.

We all have tombs that await us, open-mouthed and hungry for our bones, but the author
of life lies there in our stead. You died so that we who come sorry and helpless to the foot
of your cross may rest on the Sabbath knowing that it is not ourselves in our graves, but

That atonement was made would have been enough. But in the riches of your grace and
great power, we rest on the Sabbath knowing that the tomb is not the final word. Great
God, we are overcome with joy and thanksgiving and all manner of gladness that
the tomb is not the end of the story.

Just wait, you say. You will see my wonders.