The Resurrection King: Author of Comeback Stories
"Jesus said to her, 'I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.’" - John 11:25
One of the primary reasons we worship our heavenly Father is that we recognize him as the Creator of all living things. Whatever his timeline or methodology, we credit him for the mind-numbing intricacy and logic-defying expanse of the known universe. From the complexity of cell design to the overwhelming power of the largest stars, we know God as a source of creativity and design. His life force permeates every plant and creature that moves on this planet. He wills that all things live - and not just live, but flourish. His handiwork in nature reminds us of his creative energies, and his character is actively reflected in us when we express ourselves creatively through art, media, music, and all sorts of mediums.
But there’s more far more to see of God than just his creativity. Just as significantly - perhaps even more significantly - our Father loves to reveal himself as the Resurrection. To understand the profound value of this aspect of God, we must first understand his nemesis.
The story of God’s world is one of beauty and life, but it contains a great antagonist. This antagonist goes by many names in scripture: Accuser, Deceiver, Destroyer. His essence and mission are precisely antithetical to our Father’s. Instead of creation, he seeks destruction. Instead of joy, he seeks suffering. Instead of life, he seeks death. He sows seeds of sin throughout God’s creation in an attempt to corrupt every good and living thing. Jesus describes his enemy - and the contrast in their missions - this way:
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.” - John 10:10
We don’t have to look any further than our own lives to see evidence of the Evil One’s work. Our sinful choices - and the sinful choices of others - inevitably yield harvests of discouragement, pain, and loss. Fear, pride, and jealousy lead to abuse, selfishness, and subjugation, and in turn these actions tend to breed more of the same. Cycles of sin and suffering are easy to find in our broken world, and the Evil One celebrates them all.
But it is here we see that we witness another amazing quality of our Father - one very much worth celebrating. More than Creator, he is the Great Reviver. Throughout scripture and across the span of recorded history, God loves to be known for repair, for renewal, for reconciliation, even - or especially - when it appears that all is lost. Again and again, God seems to enjoy writing the story of the underdog, the written off, the down and out. Though the resurrection of Jesus is the most famous and important example of this, the Bible is packed with other examples of remarkable comebacks engineered by the Resurrection King.
In the Old Testament, God brought a vision to the ancient prophet Ezekiel. He showed Ezekiel a valley filled with nothing but bones. Ezekiel couldn’t see much potential, much reason for excitement in that valley. But God proceeded to breathe gusts of life-giving wind across it, and before Ezekiel’s eyes the bones assembled and reconstituted themselves into a large and powerful army - just like a scene from Lord of the Rings.
I’ve seen this principle first hand. Seven years ago, my marriage was crumbling into separation. I sunk deep into discouragement and shame, certain I would wear the title of failure for the foreseeable future. I withdrew from friendships and church community, feeling I had nothing of value to offer others.
But I am thankful to say that in his faithfulness and in his way, God gradually turned my ashes into beauty. He restored my soul. He breathed new life into this heart of mine, giving me a new hope and a new future. Although I haven’t forgotten my valley of suffering from years past, I’m amazed by the positive turns my life story has taken. There was a time when I no longer thought such turns were possible.
Perhaps you’re surrounded by a valley of bones. Perhaps it’s hard to see hope past the corpses of past defeats. I want to encourage you today that no matter what you see of yourself, your mistakes, or your shortcomings, God longs to write new chapters in your story. He specializes in mending the broken, transforming the miserable, reviving the lifeless. His very essence thrives on it.
Yes, our God is the Creator. But he’s more than that. He’s the Resurrection King. This year, I invite you to let God breathe new life into your story.
Prayer Focus: Pray today that God would breathe life into the area's of your world that seem dead or desolate.