Fear seized them all; and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited His people!”
“Human beings,” said T.S. Eliot, “cannot bear too much reality.” I think of this whenever I hear people say, “It would have been cool to see Jesus raise somebody from the dead.” Such people seem to be stone blind to the normal realities of the human condition. The widow’s son did not lie down and die in order to titillate a curiosity seeker. His dead body was not just an anonymous cadaver for resurrection experiments. It was the body of somebody’s child, somebody’s friend, somebody’s beloved, and his loss was a wrenching grief, not a chance for experimentation. When the resurrection occurred sensible people did not say, “Cool!” They reacted with fear bordering on terror. When death is conquered, we face the Ultimate Power in the universe and our response is rightly awe and fear, mixed with a sight of glory that is far beyond the vision of the curiosity-seeker.
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