Resurrection seems to be a popular topic in the news. In one news article two adult brothers allegedly stole their 92 year old father’s body from a cemetery when one of the brothers had a lot of difficulty coping with the loss of his parents. Police said the brothers believed they could resurrect him. Police traced the van used to transport the casket and body to one of the son’s homes. The father was found in a basement freezer.
A second news article appeared a few months ago on the same topic of resurrection. Peter Wald lived in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada with six children aged between 11 and 22, seven adult friends and his wife. Peter, age 52, suffered from diabetes. Last year he got a leg infection sometime in March. Peter refused to go to the hospital and trusted God to cure him. The disease progressed, slipping him into a coma and he died in late March.
Mrs. Wald covered his body with blankets, locked the bedroom door, and sealed vents to keep the smell of a decomposing body from getting into other rooms. She believed her husband would at some point be resurrected and return to his position in the family.
Peter Wald’s body had been laying in the upstairs bedroom for six months before the sheriff arrived to evict the family who had ceased making mortgage payments. That is when the body was discovered and Mrs. Wald was brought to court.
The news articles reported a family lifestyle of the Wald’s that would suggest they were not only devoted followers of Jesus, but also enthusiastic too. The question might be asked why Mr. Wald was not healed of his medical problem given his extraordinary faith and why was he not resurrected given the belief of his wife. After all, didn’t Jesus say
to some people he healed that their faith had restored them?
The first question that might be considered is why Mr. Wald avoided the hospital in favor of an anticipated healing by God. For that we note the Bible tells of a man, Naaman, who was great and highly respected by the king. Naaman had one problem. He had the progressive disease of leprosy. When Naaman heard that there was a godly man in another country who reportedly might be able to heal him, he asked the king to be relieved of his post serving the king for a short period of time so that he might find this man. Naaman was granted leave and eventually stood in front of the house of the godly man, Elisha.
When Naaman arrived at his door, Elisha sent his servant to tell Naaman that he would be healed if he submerged himself in a local river which was known to be quite dirty. Hearing this, and from a servant, Naaman went away furious. He gave specific steps he thought a man of God should use to cure leprosy. He even said the rivers back in his country would be a much better choice than any waters in Israel, where Elijah lived. Naaman, greatly upset, turned to go back home.
The many servants who accompanied Naaman strongly persuaded him to dip in the suggested river. Naaman finally received the healing he was seeking but only because of the persistence of his close friends and servants. Naaman was willing to reject locally available healing because it didn’t match with his preferred way.
Nothing has changed regarding human nature since the time of Naaman. People will choose only one way of healing – conventional, functional or alternative medicine. People seek drugs with side affects when it has been clinically shown that some readily available plant extracts can perform as well or better for certain diseases without any side affects. It is no surprise that people would risk their life if healing is not offered in the form that they desire.
Is God obligated to heal when a form of healing is rejected? The Bible talks about a time when the devil tempted Jesus. The devil took Jesus to a high pinnacle on the temple and asked him to prove he was the Son of God by throwing Himself down. Jesus, not doing what the devil suggested, quoted the Bible and said “you shall not put the Lord your God to the test”. A person should not knowingly put themselves in a situation of peril and then expect God to get them out of it. When a person does that they are attempting to direct God’s actions, making God a servant to them. In the Bible, God said He would not share His glory with another. God is not a Person who will be tested.
Finally, what about a resurrection now for the individual? After the resurrections around the time of Jesus, the Bible doesn’t indicate we should ask for individual resurrection’s now although some will occur for specific people. It does, however, talk about general resurrections where many will be raised at once. Some will be raised to life and others to judgment. The Bible says blessed and holy is the one who has part in the first resurrection. They will have abundant life. Will I see you there?