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Have you ever heard Chicago’s hit song “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is?” I love it. In fact, even though it doesn’t have anything to do with the resurrection – it’s actually my favorite Easter song. During a lunch conversation with my dear friend, John McKenna, he explained that “the resurrection and ascension of Jesus changed all time!” He went on to explain that God has existed from before the creation of time itself – and therefore he is eternal. But, we as created beings, are tied to this temporal experience of space and time.
We know that through Christ’s death and resurrection, eternity was brought into connection with us and with our time. And through his life, death, and resurrection and ascension, Jesus forged a new relationship between God and humanity, linking our eternal Father with our temporal existence. You could think of it like this – as God’s “eternal” Son, the pre-incarnate Lord preexisted the creation of time. And with his incarnation, he entered time, becoming the contemporary of all humanity, taking on life as a “mortal” (subject to death). And he is the one who was, and is and is to come – but that he died on our behalf and was raised to eternal life in our place and on our behalf.
Theologian Karl Barth noted, though we live “in time” in Jesus, we also live outside of time. In his ascension Jesus took us with him into the future. And as he said on the cross, “It is finished.” From the standpoint of the present, we see our existence in time as our past, our present and our future. And, of course, we aren’t always sure of the future because, from the perspective of our experience, we realize we cannot secure our own existence in time – it’s just beyond our control.
But there’s good news – Time is never beyond God’s control. He gave us life both in space-time and also outside that dimension – “eternal life.” In Christ’s resurrection, Jesus has destroyed the sting of death, showing us that death is only the end of the temporal; it does not alter the eternal.
As we celebrate Easter, I think we’ve got a great answer to that Chicago song – if we are in Christ we know exactly what time it is! We know that Christ, the creator of space-time, has penetrated our dimension – joining our humanity to him, living, dying, and resurrecting – and that this has happened in the reality of our space and time. Let’s remember that, in Christ, our eternal destiny is assured for all time.
I’m Joseph Tkach, Speaking of LIFE.