I believe in resurrection.
I believe, of course, in the Resurrection – “that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day” (1 Corinthians 15.3b-4a). That much is unsurprising.
But it is only the beginning. For I believe also in the general resurrection, in the mending of flesh and bone long ago turned to dust, in the triumph of Man over Death – “[f]or as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive” (1 Corinthians 15.22). I believe that the body sown perishable will be raised imperishable, that the body sown in dishonor and weakness will be raised in glory and power (vv. 42-43). I believe that “[w]e shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet” (vv. 51b-52a). I believe that Death shall be swallowed up in victory (Isaiah 25.8).
I believe in the resurrection of Heaven and Earth, in the healing of forests and rivers and meadows and mountains, in the renewal of all creation. I believe in the coming of a new Jerusalem, the dwelling place of God and Man, where Christ will be united with the Church his Bride. I believe that God “will wipe away every tear from their eyes,” that death and mourning and crying shall be no more – for the former things will have passed away (Revelation 21.4).I believe in the resurrection of justice – a billowing justice which rolls down like waters (Amos 5.24) – in the righting of wrongs, in the deliverance of the captive and of the fatherless and of the oppressed. I believe in the resurrection of innocence, in a perfect atonement – that body, soul, and spirit shall all be white as snow, set free by the boundlessness of an eternal beginning.
And I believe in the resurrection of memory and of childhood. I believe that laughter never dies, that it reverberates and echoes down through the ages as irrepressibly as the wind. I believe that no secret, mystery, or treasure – no forgotten song or path or garden, no ancient love or hope – is ever wasted. I believe in the rejoicing of old men with young men, of descendants with ancestors, of former masters with former slaves, of everyone with anyone. I believe in the resurrection of a peace which surpasses all understanding (Phillippians 4.7), of a joy which fills to overflowing, and of a Love that conquers all.
And so, though I am afflicted in every way, I am not crushed; though perplexed, not driven to despair; though persecuted, not forsaken; though struck down, not destroyed (2 Corinthians 4.8-9). I do not lose heart; though my outer self is wasting away, my inner self is being renewed day by day (v. 16). This light momentary affliction is simply preparing me for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comprehension; and so I look, not to the things that are seen, but to the things that are unseen (vv. 17-18).
Because I believe.