Sometimes I have a Hallmark picture of heaven in my mind. It’s a place where you lazily drift from cloud to cloud, and everyone wears diapers, and everything’s in hazy, slow motion. There’s also alot of smoke there for some reason. In that picture, heaven is almost like a dream, of an LSD-induced vision. Everything there is ethereal; nothing is tangible. But I have the sense that the realm of heaven is more real, not less real, than the one we are in now.
It’s tough to grasp that rocks in heaven might be harder than rocks on earth. Colors are more vivid than we see now. Water is more liquid-y than it is now. But that’s what I’m banking on (and for what it’s worth, that’s what CS Lewis thought, too, and expoused in the wonderfully fantastical great little book called The Great Divorce). There’s a great biblical passage that just might be shed some light on this issue.
Remember when the disciples were cowering in the upper room, after they had witnessed the crucifixion of Jesus? In their minds, they had wasted the last 3 years of their lives. Their dreams had gone down with their Rabbi, and those dreams might well have been buried underneath the 2-ton rock that sealed up the body of their friend. Those were dark, fearful days. And then…
“In the evening of that first day of the week, the disciples were gathered together with the doors locked because of their fear of the Jews. Then Jesus came, stood among them, and said to them, ‘Peace to you!'”
Jesus came and stood among them – but how did He get past the locked door? Surely a locked door is no problem for the Son of God, but I’m particular interested in the how in this case. Perhaps it was because Jesus, in His post-resurrection state, had become very much like Hallmark heaven. He was sort of transparent – floating around, not really a solid figure any more. Because He wasn’t really solid, He was able to pass through the locked door without hanging up a stitch of His clothing.
Maybe the opposite is true. Maybe, in His post-resurrection state, Jesus had become the very definition of reality. He was more solid, more real, than any other human being. And so He passed through the door because to Him, the earth now seemed like a dream. It was hazy. It was transparent. It was cloudy and without definition.
If that is true, friends, then we are bound for reality. And what we experience now is just a pale imitation of what it will be like there.