Let’s start with the worst news: we will all be forgotten. It’s true. It’s inevitable. It is the intended consequence of death. It’s surprising, for example, when I consider how little I think of my grandparents, let alone my great-grandparents. I know precious few things about them, in spite of the fact that I owe them everything. Their memory has decayed dramatically in just a couple of generations. I know I won’t be an exception. A few generations from now, few, if any will know much about me. This is how death works. It seeks to render something, a nothing. When we fully contemplate this thought, it is overwhelming. Even as our bodies fall apart in the grave so the place we hold within the memories of others falls apart as well.
Now the best news: the resurrection means we will not all be forgotten. Resurrection is life. It means everything. It’s a sign (the sign) that death isn’t the end. Think about it, the world’s most significant powers joined forces to ravage Jesus on the cross. They gave him the very worst they had: Death. And yet, it wasn’t enough. He came back alive. God demonstrated in Jesus that death isn’t the strongest power, and doesn’t have the final say. This is why we say resurrection is a sign. Signs are important. They tell us what is around the corner. They give us clues about what may or may not happen in the future. So resurrection is the sign pointing to a future when “all broken and dislocated pieces” will be brought together again. Yes, our bodies, our dreams, our relationships, the very memories of who we are, are all subject to decay, but those who live by the light of the resurrection know that’s still not the end of our story. We don’t write this way to attempt to minimize the pain of our loss. That loss is still great. We write this way to glorify the hope of our healing!
So you, person who’s been wounded by divorce, know that resurrection life is seeking ways, even now, to offer healing.
And you, person who has been disillusioned, know that resurrection life is on the lookout for you, even now, to birth new dreams.
And you, person with a broken body, know that resurrection life is already preparing a new body.
Yes, death is overwhelming, and inevitable. Yes, we recognize death means all of us will be forgotten by our loved ones, which is terrifying, but resurrection tells us we have One who doesn’t forget! All of our nothings will be re-animated in some mysterious way back into glorious somethings. He knows our pain, and in Him, all things are being made new. Death is where we are all dis-membered. But, resurrection is where we are all re-membered.