In my senior year of high school I set out to write my very first song. Armed with a little green Moleskine and a slew of frustrated feelings toward some rather pessimistic classmates, I put pen to paper and let the angst-y yet hopeful lyrics flow. The chorus turned out like this:
I have the power to change the world
The resurrection’s right inside us.
One voice can make the whole world start to sing.
Could it be me? Could it be?
During the process of tweaking the lyrics to fit the melody in my head, as well as to express my heart in the clearest way, I found myself continually returning to one word: “resurrection.” I kept asking myself, “Why this particular word? Is it just a rhythmic choice, or is there a deeper motivation?”
After I reflected for a few days, the answer hit me in that funny way most significant realizations emerge: softly, gently, like a blurry image that comes into focus if we pause and take the time to see it. I realized that I and many of my peers spend much of our lives waiting for resurrection to occur in front of us in some grand event that, with the ease of flipping a switch, creates an instantly better world.
Whether it be through the fulfillment of scriptural prophecy, the election of a great political leader or the emergence of unprecedented innovation, we have grown accustomed to stepping back and waiting to witness the world change. But what if we are supposed to be change-makers too? What if that resurrection we’ve all been waiting for really is inside us?
The Meaning of Death
Each Easter, we celebrate the miracle in which Jesus transcended death. Scripture explains that three days after the crucifixion, Jesus arose from his tomb in a magnificent gesture of resiliency. Later, he implored his disciples to go forth sharing the gospel, and then ascended into Heaven. This account of the Resurrection is awe-inspiring, but in relating it to our own lives, do we see these events as something we too are capable of, or do we relegate them to mere myth or legend?
Father Moon asserts that the Resurrection was a very real occurrence, but perhaps not in the way we usually think.
In Luke 9:60, Jesus tells a disciple who wants to leave to bury his father to “leave the dead to bury their own dead.” It is clear that Jesus is not referring just to physical death. Father Moon explains: “In these words of Jesus, we find two different concepts of life and death. The first concept of life and death concerns the physiological functions of [human beings]. The second concept of life and death applied to those physically alive persons who were gathered together for the burial of the father. Why, then, did Jesus indicate that those persons who were actually alive were ‘dead’? It was because, although they were physically alive, they were in a state of death in not knowing God, the source of life, and they had lost the purpose of life.”
Similarly, in John 11:25 Jesus tells us, “[H]e who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” Again, the concept of death and life is discussed as a spiritual state, one that is not tied to whether or not someone has a physical heartbeat. Though someone may lose his physical life, he gains eternal life through Jesus. Father Moon concludes that, “Passing from death to life is resurrection and … begins from the point of believing in God and receiving Jesus’s words.”
He goes on to further explain that Jesus’s resurrection is, in essence, a spiritual resurrection. Though this interpretation is different from what has been traditionally accepted by Christian theologians, his analysis raises some excellent questions: Is resurrection something we can achieve as well? Though we consider ourselves living, might there be some parts of us that are dead? And, if so, what can we do to bring them back to life?
To Be Alive Is a Choice
Easter Sunday, the day we celebrate Jesus’s resurrection, holds extra significance for Unificationists as the day on which Father Moon received his mission to serve God. Much like the Resurrection itself, there are supernatural elements involved—Father Moon recalls receiving direct communication from Jesus with the message asking him to continue Jesus’s mission. However, the ultimate choice was Father Moon’s alone. He had to decide whether to live an average, unintimidating life, or the life God called him toward.
The same is true of all of us, in our own way. In writing my song, I started to discover that, through each of my daily choices, I can enable the resurrection of myself and others. I can remember to include God in my decisions. I can choose to see God in others and to treat them as beloved brothers and sisters. I can thank God for the many blessings I receive, and remember that they are made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus and others who have come before me.
As you celebrate the miracle of Easter this weekend, remember that resurrection is not just something that happened thousands of years ago. We have the opportunity to create a resurrection right here and now, in our own hearts. As the song says, “The resurrection’s right inside us/ One voice could make the whole world sing/ Could it be me?”