¶ Behold, I tell you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed–
in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.
1 Corinthians 15:51-52 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash
The other day I was digging through a box of papers from my childhood that my mother had saved. My elementary school report cards and VBS completion certificates looked pretty familiar, but near the bottom of the stack was a diploma that had slipped my mind. In my 6th grade science class (Mrs. Davis, 1972) I completed a unit from the U.S. government and passed a test that earned me a Civil Defense Preparation Certificate. What that means is that if the Russians drop a nuclear bomb on your neighborhood, I’m the one you need to be standing next to. The government made sure that I am trained to know what to do in the case of an actual atomic-bomb-attack emergency.
Part of my training was watching a black-and-white film called “Duck and Cover.” In this vintage educational gem (which can be seen on Wikipedia), various scenarios involving grade school kids are presented. The one I remember best goes something like this: Children are standing reciting the pledge of allegiance when they are suddenly blinded by a flash of white light.
Instantly realizing that a 500-megaton-bomb has just exploded next to the monkey-bars on the playground, they “duck” under their desks and “cover” their heads with their notebooks. Because of their quick thinking, they are kept safe from instant death, and live to continue working the puzzle in their “Weekly Readers.”
Well, more than 40 years have passed since I watched that classroom movie. I’ve never seen the flash of light from a nuclear blast, and I hope that we never see one. I’m older now, and I realize that, in the case of a disaster of this magnitude, ducking under my desk isn’t going to do much to save me. And, truth be told, the whole scenario isn’t something I spend any time fretting about or thinking about. It just doesn’t worry me any more.
Instead of fearing and dreading that flash of light, I find myself longing for and awaiting a different flash of light. In today’s Scripture lesson (at the top), St. Paul tells us that when Christ comes again, we will all be changed “in the twinkling of an eye.” The dead will be raised, and God will give them glorified, incorruptible bodies—the same kind of body that Jesus had when He was raised from the dead. Once and for all, in a flash of light, Death will be swallowed up forever by Eternal Life. Because Jesus Christ is raised from the dead, we shall be raised also. That, my friends, is what Easter is all about.
May the light from His empty tomb illuminate your heart and your life on this good Easter Sunday. There’s no need to “Duck and Cover.” Instead, let’s follow our risen Lord as we “Trust and Obey.”
Dr. John L. Cash is the “Country Preacher Dad.” He was raised in Stuttgart, Arkansas, and has spent the last 27 years being a country preacher in the piney woods five miles south of the little town of Hickory, Mississippi. (On week days has a desk-job at a public school and teaches Latin on closed-circuit-television.) He and his lovely wife, Susan, live in the parsonage next door to the Antioch Christian Church (where there will be a fellowship dinner and Easter egg hunt today.) The Cashes have two sons, Spencer (age 21), and Seth (age 18), who live in the parsonage, too, except when they are away at college. He would love to hear from you in an email sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.