Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Worthy Illustrations

In my last preaching class one student preached on resurrection in 1 Cor 15. "But Christ has indeed been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep" (verse 20). At one point, wanting to express the wonder of Jesus' resurrection and what our response should be, he threw his arms wide with face lit up: "It's like winning the lottery! You couldn't help but be excited and joyful if that happened to you!"

Afterwards, several in class commended him for this lively illustration. "It conveyed the joy!" they said. But I was left unhappy. It's not just that winning the lottery speaks of gambling, luck and grubby materialism. More importantly, it seems such a trivial, lightweight illustration of the greatest event in the cosmos. Jesus is raised from the dead. The resurrection is quite UNLIKE anything else that has ever happened. And everything is now different for all of us. Our lives, our deaths, our purpose.

We have talked about it since. The student agrees that when we preach resurrection we have to find the noblest, most powerful, ways to express the overwhelming truth - "so in Christ all will be made alive" (verse 21). What ideas do others have?

1 comment:

wsuriano said...

When she was around three, our youngest daughter was playing around the deep of a swimming pool. She was told not to, because she couldn't swim, but decided to be disobedient. She deserved to fall in and sure enough she did. My wife and I weren't more than 5 feet away and you could see the paniced look on her face as our daughter sank. Out of love, my wife reached down, grabbed her by the arm and pulled her out of the pool. From a look of sheer panic her face changed. It was more than joy. It was joy and relief and thankfulness and love all balled up in one expression.