An Easter Message
by Brad Sherman
A Movie Review
      In March, a movie was aired on network TV called Resurrection.  In this movie, a woman was in a car accident, had a "near death" experience, and was paralyzed from the waist down.  She was then healed and had power to heal others when she laid her hands on them.  At times she was able to see that certain people who had already died were in the room when the healing was taking place.  Doctors thought she was the next step in evolution. She knew it was spiritual.  Many people began to seek her out and it became difficult for her to lead a normal life.  Eventually she disappeared from her friends and family and no one knew where she had gone. 
     The movie ends with her showing up for a short visit at a makeshift hospital full of sick people in a poverty stricken country.  The implication is that she had resolved to help as many sick people as she could with her gift while she could -the end. 

     The movie gave no glory to God or Jesus.  The woman portrayed in the movie was sexually immoral which was portrayed as normal.  Besides the obvious evils in the movie which we have come to expect from Hollywood, like disregarding God and sexual immorality, this movie leaves the viewer with an empty hopeless feeling, or at least without direction or purpose.  A positive effect of movie might be that it could  cause  people to consider the possibility of life after death.  But is it positive if life after death is portrayed as "automatic" with no rules in the present concerning how to receive eternal life? 
     Besides disregarding the gospel of Jesus Christ, who IS the resurrection and the life, the movie promotes the world view that is common in many Christian circles; that we are just existing in this nasty old world and that Jesus helps us out along the way until we have served our time and we can get out of here.  The message in the movie is essentially this: if spiritual powers do exist to heal, no one understands why.  They just offer a little bit of relief from the suffering in this world and an brief postponement of the inevitable - death.  Is this what resurrection is all about?  Doesn't the Christian message have more to offer people than that? 

The War in Kosovo
    As I write this, incredible suffering is taking place in Kosovo.  Imagine for a moment you are in the midst of it. 

You are a woman, one of the Albanian refugees forced out of your home in Kosovo.  Your husband has been murdered and you and your children have fled for your life.  You have been separated from you oldest son who is 17 years old and you don't know what has happened to him.  Your belongings have been taken, your home burned, and all records of your existence have been destroyed.  You have no property, no identity, and no way of claiming what is yours.  You have nothing.  You have just walked 20 miles after being unloaded from a railroad car packed with people just like you.  Now, you are standing in the middle of a sea of  suffering with two hungry children clinging to you begging for food. One of them is very sick with a high fever. 
     How do you feel?   Two words come to mind: Total Despair.  What is the best possible news you could hear? 
  Food is coming? 
  Here is medicine for your child? 
  A family down the road is willing to take you in for a while? 

     These are all good, but what is the best possible news that could be? 
Try this: 

There is a powerful unstoppable army just over the hill under the command of a very benevolent leader.  The army is providing healing, food, and shelter to the refugees.  It is marching against your enemies and will soon drive them out of your land and establish peace.  Your son has been found and is safe, he has joined this army.  Your husband who was shot is not dead!  He will be waiting for you at your home.  The king who leads this army has promised that all who follow him will receive positions of honor in his government, and everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for his name's sake and to fight in his army, shall receive a hundred times what they have lost.  Go over the hill and join this army.  They will house you, heal you, feed you, clothe you, and show you how you can help.
     Is this far fetched?  Is this fiction?  Not really.  This is in reality exactly what the Bible's message about the resurrection offers to real people like those refugees in Kosovo, plus the promise of eternal life!  But who will tell them? 
So Jesus answered and said, "Assuredly, I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My sake and the gospel's, who shall not receive a hundredfold now in this time; houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and lands, with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life." 
Mark 10:29-30
     This is a message far better than what the movie Resurrection portrays.  It promises a hundredfold repayment for whatever we have given up for sake of His purposes - not in heaven, but here, on this earth!  God's people are called to have our feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.  That preparation is for the appearing of the Kingdom of God, the appearing of which will be initiated by the resurrection.  God's people are called to give witness to the resurrection by demonstrations of the power of God, showing that Jesus is raised from the dead.  It was with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all (Acts 4:33).  This is the kind of witness we must seek to be.  We must seek God and His great grace to heal the sick, feed the hungry and make the needed preparations for the appearing of His kingdom, looking for and even hastening the coming of that day (2 Peter 3:12).  Besides help for the immediate situation, this message offers hope, vision for the future, and purpose! 
     How do you think the refugee in the situation described above would respond to the question: "Will you pledge allegiance to this king?"  She would not hesitate.  She has nothing to lose!  What about you?  Will you join the King's Army and commit yourself totally to His purpose?  Do you hesitate?  What will it take to remove all hesitation?  Will you have to become a refugee first?  In America, we have many blessings from God.  But I sense He is asking us this question... "Will it be necessary for you to lose everything before you realize that you have nothing to lose?"
For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake and the gospel's will save it. 
Mark 8:3

© copyright 1999
Brad Sherman
Purpose Ministries