Tag Archives: resurrection


Lifting Up Jesus Isn’t Always What You Think It Is

Sometimes all it takes to properly contextualize a verse of Scripture is to read the next one.

This is John 12:32 (NIV):


“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”

I grew up hearing preachers and worship leaders quote John 12:32, and the application was, “we need to lift Jesus up on our praises! Honor him with your songs and your prayers, and God will use that to draw others around you into relationship.”

Now, let me be clear. I don’t think that’s wrong in the sense that it’s untrue… I believe we SHOULD lift Jesus up on our praises, and I believe God *does* sometimes use our public displays of affection as ways to engage others into relationship with him.

It’s a tricky thing, though, because, while Jesus did encourage people to pray and give privately to avoid showiness, he also publicly blessed the woman who showered him with expensive perfume. There’s a tension to be managed… it’s less of an either/or than a both/and situation.

Cause a lot of times, outward displays of piety come off as phony and calculated, like we’re doing it more to impress others with how holy we are. Or worse, trying to impress God! To Jesus, these displays are ridiculous and sad, akin to Ted Cruz trying to court Indiana voters by referring to the “basketball ring.”


Tomorrow’s Lesson: Dying Is the Way to Live

“Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it.'”
— Matthew 16:24-25, New International Version 
And why should we ourselves risk our lives hour by hour? For I swear, dear brothers and sisters, that I face death daily. This is as certain as my pride in what Christ Jesus our Lord has done in you. And what value was there in fighting wild beasts—those people of Ephesus—if there will be no resurrection from the dead? And if there is no resurrection, ‘Let’s feast and drink, for tomorrow we die!'”
1 Corinthians 15:30-32, New Living Translation
“I hope tomorrow will bring / a better you, a better me”
— Siedah Garrett (lyricist), Tomorrow (A Better You, Better Me)

Thanks to the good people at Klout, I attended an advance screening of the Tom Cruise / Emily Blunt sci-fi action film “Edge of Tomorrow,”  and what I found surprised me.

First, it was good. Like, really good. Plenty of good old-fashioned action, but smartly paced and edited, moderated by a delicious time-travel premise, and magnified by two AAA-grade performances by Blunt and Cruise. If “Groundhog Day” and “District 9″* ever hooked up, had a child, and then hired F. Gary Gray’s “Italian Job” remake to babysit on the weekends, that film would grow up to be “Edge of Tomorrow.”


Believing Without Seeing

This post is, of course, inspired mostly by the annual celebration of Easter, the day that Christians celebrate the resurrection of Christ. A small part of it was probably, on a subconscious level, influenced by the ABC freshman drama “Resurrection,” which is either based on or tangentially related to a really confusing number of TV serials and movies, all related to the phenomenon of people returning from the dead.
But mostly it’s me just doing what I do most and best… dwelling on the most trivial and arcane portion of a really important topic, mostly just because I can, and seeing where it leads me creatively.
So without further ado, I give you a brief two-scene play that attempts to partially answer the question, “what might the resurrection have looked like if it happened in our time?”