So, have you seen ABC's new show called "Resurrection"? I confess I have not seen a single episode, but the commercials for it have made me a bit ... uncomfortable.
The premise of the show is this ... Small-town families find their long-dead loved ones suddenly arriving, unchanged after decades, on their doorsteps. Nearly 14 million people tuned in for the premiere episode, making it the highest Sunday drama debut for ABC since 2006.
There was a time when I probably would have thought that was an awesome concept for a show, and I just might have tuned in with great anticipation.
Now, I think watching it would be akin to torture.
The first time I saw the commercial for this new series (and, oh my, the promotion for it has been relentless), it honestly left me a bit breathless. The looks on the older couples' faces as they saw their still-8-year-old son Jacob for the first time after he died in a drowning accident 32 years earlier ...! Yes, they're just actors, and cognitively I know that ... but, oh, what a tug in my heart! And then, the actress sitting on a church pew (who looks to be about the age Hannah would be now) saying tearfully, "Did I really die?"
This is the fondest dream of every parent who has lost a child ... to be reunited with them here on earth. To wrap our arms around that child's neck and hold on for all we're worth. To feel their arms wrap around us and squeeze us back. To breathe in their scent, to hear their voice, to see their smile, to just look into their eyes and be still. And then, finally, to talk to them. And talk and talk and talk. To say, "Yes, you really died, but now you're back! And I'm never going to let you go again!"
But that's not the way it works. I will never see Hannah again here on this earth. I won't hug her, hold her hand, hear her voice, or sit beside her on her bed and giggle with her again. People just aren't "resurrected" here on this earth.
But thank God, that's not the end of the story. I believe that because Hannah trusted Jesus here on earth, she already lives again ... in Heaven. And as much as I'd like to see her again here on this earth (and believe me, I do!), an earthly resurrection can't compare with a heavenly one.
An earthly resurrection is only temporary. At some point, we'd have to say good-bye again. Either she would die, or I would die. And because of the fact that we have sin natures, our relationship would not be perfect ... we'd have disagreements and misunderstandings, and we might even get angry with each other sometimes. We'd have to deal with all that comes along with living in a fallen world ... illness, injustice, terrorism, pain, grief, hunger, loss ... the list goes on and on.
A heavenly resurrection is eternal. We'll never have to say good-bye again. Our sin natures will be destroyed, so our relationship will be perfect, unmarred by any type of strife. And we will live in a perfect world ... one without tears, one where we'll worship our Savior with nothing to hinder us.
So will I be watching the TV show "Resurrection"? Nope, not me. Why waste my time longing for something that can never happen, and even if it did, would only be a dim shadow of the real resurrection? I prefer to fix my mind on the great resurrection that is to come in the future, because that's where my real hope lies!
"Jesus said to her (Martha), 'I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he lives.'" John 11:25