Peter tells us that after his death, Jesus "went and preached to the spirits in prison" (1 Peter 3:19). Of all the possible referents of this mysterious passage, surely Peter did not have in mind these thirty-three miners. And yet, there is a powerful connection. The Son of God left his own grave, going deep into a forsaken, forgotten prison, cut off from the land of the living, and gave hope to the most hopeless of all. And for anyone caught underground, in a battle between good and evil and God and Satan, hope can overcome hopelessness. The church, as the tangible body of God in the world, is called to disburse the spirit and hope-filled flesh of Christ throughout the world, erecting camps of hope in the darkest and direst of places -- not for the purpose of judging the world, but for rescuing it. And so we say, "This is my body . . . broken for you . . ."
Kyle Roberts is Assistant Professor of Systematic Theology and Lead Faculty of Christian Thought, Bethel Seminary (St. Paul, MN). He researches and writes on issues related to the intersection of theology, philosophy, and culture. Follow Kyle Roberts' reflections on faith and culture at his blog, http://kylearoberts.com/.