Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Back from the Dead

The mysterious reappearance in England of John Darwin after being missing for five years is becoming something of a cause celebre. When Darwin went missing he had been reported adrift in the sea in a canoe which later turned up smashed to pieces on the rocks and his paddle was found floating in the tide. A huge air-sea rescue search was unsuccessful and after a few days was called off. One year later, Darwin's wife went to court to have her husband declared legally dead. Then this week he walked into a West London police station declaring 'I think I may be a missing person!'

To add to the mystery, John's wife has recently gone missing, having sold the family home just weeks ago and reportedly moved to Panama. As to what happened to John during those five missing years - well, the police are still looking into it, but he claims to have lost his memory completely. His elderly father is a committed Christian, and when told of his son 's reappearance exclaimed 'Thank the Lord!' before bursting into tears.

What of course is clear is that John Darwin has not actually returned from the dead. There will be some explanation even if it takes a while to come out. But just imagine if that were not so. What if someone died a very public death and even went through a public burial in a borrowed tomb? Their death was certified by military specialists in judicial execution. Their body was smashed up almost beyond recognition. Then, suddenly and without warning, they were seen wandering about a few days later! Their family were shocked, their friends stunned. The one whom they had mourned was now actually alive and well and moving among them. The grave was now lying open and their loved one was speaking to them.

Surely if all this happened there would be massive public interest in the facts. What did you see on the other side? What did it feel like to die and then to rise again? Well of course, this scenario did really happen and the events described above actually took place. Even more amazing than the story unfolding in the Darwin family is the one that surrounded the person of Jesus. Now when we hear the news that he is back from the dead, we can really say 'Thank the Lord!'.