Death And Revival
An overall death and revival is repeated every year in the world. In winter, a white ‘shroud’ covers the earth whose yearly life cycle has already terminated in autumn. Nature has already turned pale with ever fewer traces of life. The shell has fallen in and, ultimately, trees have become lifeless like hard bones. Grass has rotted away, flowers withered, migrating birds left and insects and reptiles disappeared.
However, wintertime is not eternal, it is followed by a general revival over the whole of the earth. When the weather gets warm, trees begin to bud and, wearing their finery, present themselves to the Eternal Witness. The soil swells and grass and flowers start to burst in on us everywhere. Seeds that fell into earth in the previous autumn have germinated and, having annihilated themselves, have set out to grow into new forms of life. Migrating birds come back and earth swarms with countless insects and reptiles. In short, with all its splendor and finery, nature appears before us.
Consider how the event of photosynthesis takes place in trees: the leaves of the trees are lungs and they have the power when in the sunlight to separate carbon dioxide into carbon and oxygen. In other words, the oxygen is given off and the carbon retained and combined with the hydrogen of the water brought up by the plant from its roots. By magical chemistry, out of these elements God makes sugar, cellulose and numerous other chemicals, fruits and flowers [all in different smell, taste, color and shape according to the kind of plant or tree]. The same carbon dioxide and water contribute to the growth of innumerable kinds of fruit, each of which has a different taste, distinctively its own. However simple a process this seems, if the whole of mankind came together to produce a single fruit, an apple or a cherry, for example, they would not be able to do so.
Respiration costs a tree a high expenditure of energy. However, through the same respiration, it has many times more income and deposits it, for it has a long night before it during which the direction of its respiration reverses. During the night, a tree takes in oxygen and sends out carbon dioxide.
Consider what deliberate results the actions of an unconscious tree produce. Then ponder if it is really conceivable that something completely ignorant and unconscious of even its own existence and which enjoys no power of choice, is able to do such comprehensive things as require an all-comprehensive knowledge, power and choice.
So, the Power which attaches such significant purposes to a tree and makes it the means of many deliberate results, will certainly not abandon to its own devices the fruit of the tree of creation, namely man, and will not condemn him to eternal annihilation. God has created man for lots of deliberate purposes and, without allowing him to remain eternally mixed into earth, will bring him back to life in an eternal world. Just as He preserves a fruit in memories and through its seeds, just as He returns the like of it next summer after He has promoted it to a higher level of life in an animal or human body, so too He will promote man to a higher level of life in another world following the total destruction of this world.
Death puts an end to all pleasures and makes everything as if it had never been. Then, were it not for the Resurrection, this life would be reduced to a meaningless plaything, leaving behind sufferings and pains. However, this world is a shadowy miniature of the other, eternal one. The bounties God bestows on us here are only examples of their eternal and much better forms in the eternal world. God grants them to us to urge us to act in order to deserve them. The Holy Book declares:
Give glad tidings to those who believe and do good deeds. For them there will be Gardens beneath which rivers flow. Every time they are served with the fruits therein, they will say, ‘This is what was given to us aforetime!’ They shall be given in perfect semblance. And there will be pure spouses for them, and they will abide there forever (2.25).
Also, all joys, beauties, acts of rewarding, and instances of happiness in this world point to their perfect and eternal forms in Paradise, while pains, punishments, and instances of ugliness and unhappiness are a sign of their likes in Hell. Actually, God will build the other world out of the bulk of the material of this one, which He will have made suited to that purpose through the great upheavals of Doomsday. Thus, the interrelation between things in the world and between this one and the other decisively points to the Resurrection.