Friday, April 01, 2005

Jesus, Terri and a life worth living

Glenn Beck was just on the radio talking about what he thought Jesus would do if He were here with Terri Schiavo. Glenn said Jesus would have fed her and/or healed her, because Jesus's power to heal came from the person's faith in Him/faith in His ability to heal them. Then, when Terri died, Jesus would have brought her back from the dead. Glenn's position was that this is what happened with Lazarus and that Jesus valued life so much, even after seeing the "other side" that He rose people from the dead instead of letting them stay dead. Therefore, Glenn concluded that Jesus would not have agreed with the sentiments that say, about someone who has died, "She is better off now. She's with God and she's in a better place."

Now, I enjoy listening to Glenn Beck - Christians in talk radio are always welcome :) Plus he's hilariously funny and often, he's right - or I agree with him, which is basically the same thing :)

But this? not so much. I don't think that Jesus rose people from the dead because He thought it was better to be alive then to be with God. Instead, I think that He rose people from the dead to show other people that He could do it. He did miracles so that people would believe. He was kind of upset that He had to keep doing miracles for people to believe because I think He wanted them to believe based on what He said, not based on what they say, for that is what faith is all about right?

There is also the apostle Paul, in his New Testament epistles, says that he would rather be with God:
For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
But if I am to live on in the flesh, this will mean fruitful labor for me; and I do not know which to choose.
But I am hard-pressed from both directions, having the desire to depart and be with Christ, for that is very much better;
yet to remain on in the flesh is more necessary for your sake.
[Philippians 1:21-24]

He wasn't afraid to die or dreading death, in fact he was looking forward to it! But he knew that he was in the service of the Lord and that there was more for him to do on the earth, and so he would stay and do it.

Of course we could make the argument that this is Paul's view of life and not Jesus's. But then we would have to reject the idea that Paul's epistles are part of Holy Scripture and this God's words, not just Paul's.

I do believe that Terri is in a better place, that in the resurrection of the dead she will have a brand new body. But that doesn't mean her death is not a tragedy.

Jesus valued life, but not only for the sake of living it, but for the sake of spreading the Gospel. And He certainly didn't value life on earth above eternal life with God.