What is the most forbidding power in our world today? It is death. Everyone is naturally a slave to it, they always have been. We fear it above all else. Millions of dollars are made every day by playing to people’s fear of death.
But what if someone could defeat death? Would we believe it? Would it open up a new world to us? This is in fact the claim of Christianity. Jesus spoke of a new kingdom that was imminent. In order to claim to rule a kingdom, a person must conquer an existing one, however. So what did Jesus conquer? He conquered death.
Sin had made everyone it’s slave. Sin paid it’s slaves in the currency of death (Rom 6:23). Sin was ruling the world until death was defeated. Then the old world began it’s decline and the new world began to sprout. Two kingdoms moving in opposite directions. One was well populated but dying while the other was small but growing through hidden but incredibly powerful principles.
Today, this is still the case. We have the secular world that is convulsing in the throes of death on every side. But we also have a budding new world that is quietly, unassumedly taking over from the old, dying creation. Our obvious, natural inclination is to make the best of the old dying world that is presented to us each day. But contrary to our first inclinations another option is available to us. This is an option to invest in the lesser known but potential-filled new world.
This new creation is driven by self-giving, group-oriented, collaborative (not so competitive) people who see immense latent value in transformed humanity and it’s potential to renovate the world we live in. Of course, left without a leader who has embodied (and even created) this new order, we are hopelessly powerless. But because, when we stretch out a selfless hand, we find a strange renewed energy we have hope that this new order will continue to thrive despite the apparent challenges ahead.
The question left to us is one of economics. Where do I invest my resources? In a mature stock whose value has peaked or a lesser known stock that sees business from a completely different angle?
Can David defeat Goliath? Can Esther really save her people? Will Ruth really stick with her mother-in-law against all odds? Can the capital of the evil Assyrian empire, Nineveh, really turn around with only the advice of Jonah’s 7 words? Will the younger brother, Joseph, really survive being sold into slavery to the Egyptians? Will Daniel be able to survive his capture in a foreign land? Will a die-hard Pharisee who is trained by the greatest teacher of his pharisaic tradition really change his name from the kingly Israelite name of Saul to the pagan name Paul, meaning little? Can a Hebrew peasant really go against the powers of Rome and out last them? Can a poor, wandering teacher actually expect his teachings to have a significant impact? Can one who dies really find life again? Can we really explore this new world? Just ask William Wilberforce or Martin Luther King or **Desmond Tutu or Mother Theresa. They will each speak to you with a single answer from beyond death.
** Desmond Tutu is still alive.