What if Your life, passion and death were exactly the same as we know it, but there was no resurrection?
I saw a movie called The Chronicles of Narnia based on C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. The allegorical allusions to salvation history abound. The character of the Lion is clearly a figure of You. He gives himself up that others might be spared. There is one point in the film where others mournthe dead body of the Lion. At this juncture the audience, if they are anything likeme, is probably wondering how the story can go on now that the Lion is dead. But the Lion rises miraculously and lives again, inspiring hope where there was despair. And the story does go on.
You died so that death would not be the end of man; so that all sin might be atoned for; so that we could be saved. But if You just died and were buried and that was the end of it, how would we ever know that? What a great guy that Jesus was – end of story!
We, as usual, needed a sign, a sign of Your victory, a sign that all these things were accomplished. That sign was Your resurrection. Without Your resurrection we never would have known for sure that death for man was dead, that our sins were expiated, and that salvation was ours. Because of Your resurrection the story does go on.
In the movie (near the end) the Lion walks along a remote beach into the distance and fades. A character watching this says, “He’ll be back someday.” The parallel to Your Ascension is clear. The victory is won. The resurrection is our sign of the victory. We know we have been redeemed. Now we must wait, like redeemed people, for You to come again. You will come to us when we go to You – when the time for our purpose on this earth has come to an end and the sign of Your victory over death will be shared with each of us. Without this sign hope is overwhelmed.