I have always been enthralled with the movies and cartoons that contained indestructible superheroes. You know, the kind that shrug off assaults that would turn we mere mortals into paste. The scenes that always wowed me the most were the ones in which lethal force was brought against them to no effect: bullets bouncing harmlessly away, a car smashing into them totaling the car and not leaving a scratch on the hero, being buried under a fallen building only to rise from the debris unscathed. If you’ve watched kids play pretend acting as superheroes you see how exhilarating that motif is, it makes me smile seeing my boys stand in their imaginary universe undaunted at the imaginary arsenal being brought to bear against them striking fear into their imaginary assailants standing stalwart and unfazed with that confident smile that says “you cannot hurt me.” Have you ever thought about what it would be like to be absolutely indestructible? Imagine it: confronting life knowing that no permanent harm could come to you as a result of your interactions. I bet we’d be a bit more bold and carefree wouldn’t we? How fun would it be to take a trip to the Grand Canyon when falling couldn’t hurt you? How exhilarating would it be to go Scooba diving with sharks? How bold would immortality make you?
When we read through the book of Acts and study church history, have you noticed how fearless many of the disciples were when confronting conflict, torture, or death? How does such boldness come about? To witness them you would think that they were convinced that they were indestructible. Well, they sort-of were. Not that they thought they couldn’t be hurt or even killed, but they seemed to have a strong sense that no amount of injury could knock them down permanently, not even the grave could keep them from getting back up. Where does such certainty come from? A single piece of theology known as “resurrection.” For many of them it came from the firsthand experience of watching Jesus come back from the grave. Jesus’ resurrection showed us what indestructible looks like. In fact, Hebrews 7 describes Jesus as having priestly authority not because of lineage, but because his divine nature is attested to by his “indestructible life”. The resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth is as Skip Heitzig describes it: “the guts of the gospel”. It’s central to how we wage war for Jesus in this life. Beginning this week and all this month we’ll be studying one of the Bible’s most thorough texts on the resurrection (found in 1 Cor 15). Join us as we do a deep-dive on the-life-indestructible!”