Wednesday, May 09, 2018

The bright morning star

28 Do not be amazed at this, for the hour is coming when all who are in their graves will hear His voice 29 and come out — those who have done good to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil to the resurrection of judgment (Jn 5:28-29).

As I've said on other occasions, when reading the Bible I think it's a good exercise to see it through the eye of a movie director. If you were filming the Bible, how would you envision these descriptions? Take the resurrection of the just. 

Here's one way I imagine the scene. Jesus returns in the Shekinah (Acts 1:9-11; Ezk 1:4-28). He hovers in the lower atmosphere. As the globe rotates, he appears over the horizon, like the morning star (Rev 22:16; 2:28; cf. Isa 14:12; Num 24:17). As light from the Cytherean Shekinah flashes across cemeteries, with graves facing east, towards the Christic morning star, bodies of the saints rematerialize in their tombs ("a rattling, and the bones came together, bone to its bone. And I looked, and behold, there were sinews on them, and flesh had come upon them, and skin had covered them," Ezk 37:7-8). Their bodies are then reanimated as the Spirit reunites body and soul ("and the breath came into them," Ezk 37:10). Then tombs open and they emerge ("and they lived and stood on their feet," Ezk 37:10). 

While the Cytherean Shekinah repeatedly dawns over the rotating horizon, row after row of cemeteries, from east to west, in sidereal succession, will stir to life ("Your dead shall live; their bodies shall rise. You who dwell in the dust, awake and sing for joy! For your dew is a dew of light, and the earth will give birth to the dead," Isa 26:19). Those who sleep in the dust will awake (Dan 12:2)–in the twinkling of an eye (1 Cor 15:51-52). Myriads of recreated, rejuvenated saints, facing the Cytherean Shekinah, gazing at the Christic morning star. 

Of course, not everyone is formally buried. Scripture uses graves and graveyards as a synecdoche for the dead generally. Although some of the imagery might be figurative, the oracle in Jn 5:28-29 foreshadows Jesus raising Lazarus. That's a foretaste of an eschatological scene. 

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