Tuesday, April 3, 2012

The Dark Knight and the Longing for Resurrection

In the latest installment of the newest batman series, the Dark Knight, one of the characters is resurrected. At least that's the latest Hollywood "scoop". Liam Neeson played the ignominious, Ra's al Ghul, in the first installment of the series, Batman Begins. Supposedly, this character was supposedly killed during burning of Wayne Manor. But, those of us who know, know that in some sort of way, he is "un-kill-able." While they are still not sure whether or not this means a cameo flashback or possible something more, the character's billing is being promoted as, "Risen from the Dead: Liam Neeson Makes Comeback in the Dark Knight Rises." His long-anticipated return has been further verified in the newest movie, Dark Knight Rises. According to NZ City:
The 59-year-old actor will reprise his part of Ra's al Ghul for the forthcoming movie, despite his character being killed off in 2005's 'Batman Begins', with the news revealed in Warner Bros' production notes for his latest film 'Wrath of the Titans'.
We Want Resurrection 
Liam Neeson reprising his role as Ra's al Ghul
We seem to always hope that someone can make a comeback from the dead. Our hope can be seen in the macabre with such characters as Dracula and Frankenstein's monster. It can also have a technological bent as people are placing their bodies is a frozen stasis in a hope that one day in the future, they will be able to be brought back from the dead. Spiritually, we often hear of "near death" experiences that tell us of those who were physiologically passed from this life, and were able to return. (Although I never believe I went that far, I did have something like that happen to me. See www.TreyRhodes.info for more on my experience). We all have a hope built into us that envisions more life after dying. It what the Bible terms, eternity in our hearts. These are the words of King Solomon:
He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts (italics mine) Ecclesiastes 3:11 (HCSB)
If Only Someone Could Return from the Dead
I recently heard someone quip, "No one knows what waits for us after death, no one has ever come back to tell us." To that, my answer is there is someone. He is Jesus Christ. The only time the past tense is ever used of Him was when it was He who was dead and is now alive (Revelation 1:18, 2:8, 11:8). Unlike Liam Neeson's character Ra's al Ghul, there can be no doubt that our Savior Jesus Christ rose from the dead. For if He never rose from the dead, neither do we. (See 1 Corinthians 15). According to Dr. Craig H. Blomberg of Cambridge University in England:
If the Crucifixion was as early as A.D. 30, Paul's conversion was about 32. His first meeting with the apostles in Jerusalem would have been about A.D. 35. At some point along there, Paul was given this creed, which had already been formulated and was being used in the early church. Now here you have the key facts about Jesus' death for our sins, plus a detailed list of those to whom He appeared in resurrected form -- all dating back to within two to five years of the events themselves! (The Case for Christ, Lee Strobel, p. 44)
They Really Believed
There can be no doubt that the apostles believed what they saw. Paul believed what was reported to him. And the facts could be checked out by anyone of the day with over 500 people that saw Jesus of Nazareth alive after had been executed by crucifixion.

You can choose not to believe the accounts of these honest, upstanding men of the first century, but you you would be hard-pressed to say that they didn't believe what they reported to us. After all, these same men and women, nearly to the person, all died saying they believed when they could have easily recanted as they were tortured and martyred for their beliefs.

Will You?
This Easter, it all really comes down to this, will you believe? C.S. Lewis reminds us with what has come to be known as "the Trilemma":
I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: "I'm ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don't accept His claim to be God." That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic - on the level with a man who says he is a poached egg - or he would be the devil of hell. You must take your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse.
You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. (C.S.Lewis, Mere Christianity, London: Collins, 1952, p54-56)
The Apostle Thomas examines Jesus's side

You Shall Know the Truth
If you don't quite get it...you wouldn't be alone. You see, Thomas didn't quite get it, so Jesus came to Him and told him to touch His hands and side. Thomas examined Jesus and then fell at Jesus' feet and proclaimed Him as, "My Lord and my God." (John 20:28). The choice is before you. Jesus, willingly asks you to examine His life, death, and resurrection. He is not afraid. He wants you to find out the truth. So, Jesus comes to you today and asks you to believe. As these words reach through the millenia, Jesus is reaching out to you...

Will you believe?

Pastor Trey Rhodes

If you would like a copy of The Case for Christ, please send us your name and address at:
contact@myoceansidechurch.com and we'll get you a book.

See you this weekend at Oceanside Church. Two services for you to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and somewhere you can experience Him:
  • Saturday night at 8:00 p.m. 
  • Sunday morning at 10:30 a.m. 
For more information, directions, and what to expect, go to:

For information about upcoming events go to:


  1. I love that quote by C.S. Lewis. And as for the picture of Thomas putting his fingers in Jesus side... Well, I would have been like, whoa, not that deep you're going puncture my lung.

  2. C.S. Lewis rocks it for sure! I thought that pic was so powerful for examining Christ deeply! He will let you go as deep as you need to. Still made me feel uncomfortable. Thnx for commenting.

  3. I always assumed He was guiding Thomas' hand TO the wound when viewing photos such as this but, after Ivey's comment, maybe He was trying to keep him from pulling a "Little Jack Horner." Seriously, thank you for sharing again the miracle of that 1st Easter morning. I don't think I've ever read that quote but C.S. Lewis surley gets to the heart of the matter.

    1. Wow, Sharon, thanks for the encouragement. This picture touches my heart because Jesus allows Thomas to seemingly probe as deep as necessary to satisfy His hunger for the truth.thats how much Jesus cared. It is also how much Jesus cares for those who care to deeply examine Him even today.He loves us thy much! He is risen, He could not remain dead. It wasn't in Him. Death could not hold Him! he is risen!! Blessings, Trey