Ever visit Qumran, in the Judean desert, the site of the famous Dead Sea Scrolls and where a Jewish community once lived, moved and had their being? If so, you know that all that remains are rocks and stones scorched and bleached by an unmerciful sun. And the people? Gone, vanished into oblivion as if they had never been.
And what of the billions of humans absorbed back into the earth since the beginning? Though their molecules linger, none of these people do. “Of humans and animals, said Solomon, “All go to one place: all are from the dust, and all return to dust” (Ecclesiastes 3:20), except that God has placed “eternity” (Ecclesiastes 3:11) in human hearts, which means that we, unlike the animals, can comprehend the idea of an eternity that will go on without us.
Which means, what? That without something supernatural, without something divine, without something from above and beyond the earth and the dirt and the sky and the air, we are, ultimately, as one writer said, “hunks of spoiling flesh on disintegrating bones.” Which is precisely what the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the hope it offers, is all about: something supernatural, something divine, something from above and beyond the earth and the dirt and the sky and the air,” that is—God from above, the Creator, the Sustainer, coming down into human flesh, dying in that flesh, rising from the dead, and offering us, “hunks of spoiling flesh on disintegrating bones” the promise of being part of the eternity that is coming, either with or without us.