Blood and gore; maggots and worms. Cinematography, the art and science of creating movies on the big screen and television, has come a long way in one century. It has progressed from the herky-jerky silent screen to producing almost anything the eye can imagine; and it can depict death in every possible form. The more sensitive are forced to turn their eyes away from the horror on the screen, while many others eventually become desensitized to the ugly horror of death and gory destruction of the magnificently created human body. If you watch any of the many forensic shows on TV such as all the various CSI series you will see dead humanity in every state imaginable being sliced and diced and picked apart to determine what happened to the poor soul. There is very little left to the imagination. Death is not a pretty or welcome sight except for those who do not see the full ramification of it. The avid watcher of horror movies and player of violent video games, sometimes translating into real life behavior, usually has no idea what lies beyond the curtain between life and death, and appears to come to a conclusion where it doesn’t really matter; it is simply a fascinating “game bringing an adrenaline rush.
There is far greater horror in the parable Jesus told of the Rich Man and Lazarus in Luke 16, than in any slasher movie or mutilation of a human victim. There is no blood and gore in the parable, just the worst horror one can imagine; consciously experiencing utter misery and not being able to do one thing to free oneself or end the pain. Yet the acknowledgement of the real potential of this does not even stir fear in the minds of those who have set a course for just such an irrevocable predicament. To have no fear of what Jesus has clearly spoken means one of two conclusions: (1) He is a deluded liar. (2) Even if you knew He said it, it doesn’t matter. This is exactly the case of the Rich Man in the parable; he had no concern for the truth Jesus spoke prior to his “untimely death. Where he would end up was not even on his radar screen.
This is why the celebration of Easter means little more for many people than the celebration of July 4th or Labor Day, or casual Friday. In fact, these other holidays may be more exciting. What does it matter to me if Jesus rose from the grave or He didn’t? Or, if one goes along with the crowd and gives unwitting acceptance to the resurrection, but it makes no difference on how they live their life; how are they any better off than the hardened unbeliever who thinks it is all so much hocus-pocus? Both are on a path to the horror of the Rich Man in Jesus’ parable.
The resurrection of Jesus, surrounded as it is by unassailable facts, even if willingly ignored, is the guarantee of the truth of everything Jesus said, to include the horror and the glory of this parable. If Jesus rose from the grave the truth of this parable is locked in concrete. For those who know they will be on Lazarus’ side of the chasm, Easter is one great “hallelujah in their soul, a celebration of unmitigated joy and promise. Yet it is also an indictment on the poor soul who rejoices not in the resurrection, who continues in his blind stupor, and lives a predictably sad life headed toward a far sadder ending, because his ears are stopped up, and his eyes are covered.
For those of you who see the truth of this parable, even though it brings tears to your eyes for those who will not hear, you cannot help but rejoice in Resurrection Sunday! “He tore the bars away, Jesus my Lord. Up from the grave He arose, with a mighty triumph or his foes, He arose a victor from the dark domain, and He lives forever with His saints to reign. He arose, He arose, Hallelujah, Christ arose! No matter what your circumstance this Sunday, if you know Jesus as your Savior you are blessed beyond all measure. Rejoice!
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