Adrian and I watched The Reichenbach Fall, the last episode in the current series of Sherlock, at the weekend. Sherlock Holmes is an amazing, almost superhuman, character who makes you believe he can do the impossible.
I was struck by John Watson’s words as he stood alone at Sherlock’s grave: ‘One more miracle, don’t be dead.’ To his best friend, it was inconceivable that Sherlock wouldn’t bounce back from death, airing his keen-eyed observations and generally showing off.
If you’ve ever watched the coffin of someone you love disappear behind a curtain at the crematorium or stood by a graveside, you will identify with what John was feeling. It’s a natural reaction; death is so final, and it feels all wrong.
Certainly the disciples could have echoed John Watson’s words: ‘Oh Jesus, one more miracle, don’t be dead.’ They had seen Jesus do lots and lots of miracles – blind people seeing, paralysed people walking, epileptics healed, and even people rising from the dead. Surely in their hearts they were crying out, ‘Just one more miracle, don’t be dead.’ And yet Jesus was dead.
But Jesus, unlike anyone else, did rise again. Three days after dying a brutal death, being hastily wrapped in burial cloths and laid in a sealed cave-tomb, He came back to life. In the weeks following His resurrection, Jesus appeared to hundreds of people. It’s a historical fact: Jesus rose from the dead. (HALLELUJAH!!)
And because Jesus rose from the dead, we have hope. A secure hope in life after death. This is the reason Jesus died, so that we could live life to the full both now and in eternity, and God raised Him from the dead to prove that we can know Him now and obtain that fullness of life.
For those of us who have lost little ones, it also gives us hope that there is life for them too. David, King of Israel from 1010 BC to 970 BC, treasured this hope when his baby died: ‘I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.’ 2 Samuel 12.
Jesus = one more miracle, He’s not dead!