I don’t like much on TV but I do enjoy watching The Repair Shop on BBC. If you’ve never seen it people bring old, broken, worn out items to the repair shop where some of the country’s greatest craftsmen repair and restore them. It can be anything from a broken clock, a favourite old teddy, a once loved and battered guitar, jewellery, tables, chairs, bicycles, practically anything. What makes the programme so successful is a combination of the amazing skills we get to witness and the stories behind the items, which may have belonged to a much loved parent or grandparent. They’re reminders of happy times and much loved people. It’s rare for an episode to pass without tears. Almost every week someone will also tell us how their relative/friend is looking down from heaven and appreciating what’s been done for them. I’ve got two points to say about that.
The first point is how amazing it is that so many people believe in an after life, a place where good things happen and where all good relatives and friends go. I say it’s amazing because we now live in a post Christian world where faith is ridiculed and where secularism offers no eternal hope. When we die that’s it. The Repair Shop responses suggest that people don’t want to believe that. They want to have hope in a life beyond, a better life after we die. Why is this desire so ingrained within us? The Bible tells us why. In a book called Ecclesiastes it says about God, “He has also set eternity in the human heart.” (1) This means our creator God has put within us this awareness of a better life after we die, so that we never accept this life as being all there is. Those who believe that this life is all are deceiving themselves and offering this world no hope.
God assures us in our hearts that there is more to life than what we have now. There is the possibility of a life of joy where we can be reunited with loved ones again and which continues forever. Our sin had taken it from us but God sent Jesus to die for our sins, and if we acknowledge Jesus’ death on our behalf, say that we’re sorry for our sins, and commit to living for Jesus, then this eternal life is guaranteed. The book of Ephesians puts it like this, “And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.” (2) When we come to Jesus for salvation God’s Holy Spirit comes to live with us and helps us navigate the new life ahead of us. He is also the guarantee of our future life, our lives inheritance.
The other point I want to make is that God doesn’t have his own repair shop. When we come to Jesus, God doesn’t repair us. He doesn’t waste his time restoring us because sin has caused irreparable damage. God instead chooses to give us a new life, we are born again. We are made new. We live in the same bodies which are only temporary, but a new person is born the exact moment faith is exercised and Jesus becomes our Saviour. The Bible puts it this way, “Anyone who belongs to Christ is a new person. The past is forgotten, and everything is new. God has done it all! He sent Christ to make peace between himself and us.” (3)
We become a new person and this new person is made for eternity, not time. Those who have faith in Jesus will live beyond the time period when they live within mortal bodies. They will live for ever with Jesus. This is how the Bible describes our transformation out of these earthly bodies to new spiritual bodies. You may have heard this read many times at funerals. It is the experience awaiting all who have faith in Jesus, and I trust that will include you. “I declare to you, brothers and sisters, that flesh and blood (our current bodies) cannot inherit the kingdom of God, … For the perishable must clothe itself with the imperishable (our new spiritual bodies), and the mortal with immortality.” (4)
- Ecclesiastes 3:11
- Ephesians 1:13,14
- 2 Corinthians 5:17
- 1 Corinthians 15:50-54