Trust Facebook to remind you of things like this. I am glad we have this picture of Millie seated sedately at our table.
This is another of our favourite cats—the queenly Millie from 10 years ago. Wouldn’t it be grand to see her stretch out lazily in the sunshine again?
When you take the resurrection seriously—knowing that round about AD 30, the heavily guarded historical corpse of Jesus of Nazareth disappeared after which, a few days later, people started to claim that they had seen Him alive—when you take this matter seriously, exciting possibilities open up for you.
Just days after the body disappeared, it was observed that a bunch of ordinary men (a core group of 12, along with 100s of other men and women too) became exceedingly bold as eyewitnesses of the risen Jesus, many of them dying for their witness—when you ponder these matters, there is a point where one’s acceptance of this intellectual probability changes to God-given faith. Suddenly, many things start clicking into place, and one begins to see life through a different lens, for no one has EVER returned in triumph from the realm of the dead.
So how do I view the case of Millie the cat through this lens?
By the way, I am not sure if everyone knows that we don’t reach our final destination when we die—and it is beyond the scope of this post to discuss what it will be like when we die—but we will continue to wait for a bit.
And what are we waiting for—whether we are in the realm of the living or the realm of the dead? Ultimately, we are waiting for Jesus to return, and the final resurrection and the judgement. It is after this that the realms will be unified and renewed—the new heaven and new earth, as the Bible refers to it.
It appears as if in all this newness, we will see a continuum too. I like continuum, I like the familiar. So I imagine (not that it matters what I imagine, it will be what it will be, but from what we know from scripture, this is a reasonable thing to imagine), it will be gloriously different but comfortingly familiar.
When describing the new place, the Bible includes animals. I reach this conclusion from scriptures like Rom 8:19-22, Isa 11:6-9, Isa 65:25, Rev 5:13, Luke 3:6, and Psalm 50:10-11, and by other bible-based reasonings that should go into another post some day. But what I cannot make out is whether our pets, specifically, will be resurrected or if these will be new animals. I don’t think we can know for sure, but I know that it will not be hard for the Lord to bring our very own pets back to us, and it could well be that animals in that place are able to talk and communicate with us.
This is why when I think of our dog Tuffy, our cats Stripes, Millie, Mia, and Molly, and even darling Susie the chicken and her gang, I am at peace. If we need them to be even more deliriously happy than what we will be, we will have them.
But this hope, as with any other hope humankind has for the future of our race and our planet, and indeed the cosmos itself, stems from the grand news of the resurrection of one Man, the Man Jesus.