The resurrection of Jesus is celebrated by Christians all over the world as the most joyous and, indeed, the most important event in their calendar. Why is this so?
In many ways the rebirth of Jesus offers us the equivalent of the reboot of your Computer or Smart phone.
There are many memes and jokes around the most common IT support cliché “Have you turned off and rebooted your computer?” While funny in some-ways, there is a kernel of truth in what is being asked. The IT person is asking you to put your computer/phone into the closesest to a clean-slate as possible. Many times this can solve the problem – clear errors from programs and bring stability into the device.
The rebirth of Jesus after offers us our own clean-slate option. If we follow his teachings and paths, we can reset ourselves, and bring us closer to our pristine state – that which our original maker intended.
Humans are complicated things, and so are computers. We are made of thousands of gooey parts and systems connecting one another working in harmony to keep us running. Similarly, a standard computer has a motherboard allocating power to the CPU, RAM and all other components which work together to in basic terms, compute.
Sometimes when we use our machines they can encounter errors resulting in a freeze. This will most commonly be a result of corrupted drivers or just being overworked. For example, if a computer is given too many tasks to run at once, a ‘deadly embrace’ can be encountered, where two tasks are waiting for one another to complete, neither moving anywhere, this results is the entire system seizing up and requiring a reboot. If left unresolved over time, a weak computer running too many tasks will use up computer memory, eventually the composition of resources get harder to manage.
When a computer is restarted the code can now start over from the beginning, and if all went to plan it won’t encounter the same problem again.
You may have also heard the term ‘blue screen of death’, this is a phenomenon from Windows operating systems where the computer decides for itself that it does not know how to recover, so it comes to a complete halt, hides the contents of the monitor and restarts.
This very basic tactic of computer maintenance always brings to mind the word of Jesus (not to stretch the metaphor too far), when he said:
“Truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God”.
The Bible often equates the process of ridding oneself of sin, through confession and forgiveness, as well as the forgiveness of others, to rebirth. This can be seen not only in computers, but also in our own biology.
When a human being is guilt ridden from our sins, or consumed by a grudge, our brainwaves slow right down causing a ripple effect of decreased serotonin production, raised levels of stress, hypertension, and diminished cardiovascular health. The task of guilt is too much for our bodies to handle, accordingly much like computers we can experience a ‘deadly embrace’, where the tasks related to guilt become too much for our own bodies drivers, our ROM etc to manage.
However, participants in a clinical study for the Mayo Clinic found that when they confessed their sins (or simply causes of guilt), were forgiven by those they had wronged AND forgave those who had wronged them, that feelings of relaxation had overcome them, cardiovascular health returned to a normal level, and on a neurological level, serotonin production had stabilised. The conclusion of this study was that forgiveness served as a hard reboot for the various internal systems, both mental and physical interplaying in our bodies, to start from square one, and repair themselves.
Whether you seek forgiveness from God, or simply act out the teachings of Christ in your own secular way in your day to day life, we can look to the scriptures of old or the computers of new to see a demonstration, either spiritual, technical, or biological, of the power of a good ol’ fashioned reboot.
There’s a reason that holy people and IT pros aren’t all that different.
One will ask you, ‘have you tried turning it on and off again’?
The other will ask, ‘have you tried seeking God’s forgiveness’?
In truth, both of them are offering you the same solution;
a new beginning.