I was never really a great fan of Jackson's music, but his passing last Thursday calls for some reflection on the emptiness of modern day celebrity culture. His untimely death has sent his music rocketing back to the top of the charts. He has joined the immortals of rock and pop who died before their time, Buddy Holly, Elvis, Hendrix, Morrison etc. On one level, Jackson had it all, adoring fans, huge album sales and vast wealth. But his life was characterised by self-loathing, disfigurement, and scandal. He paid surgeons to refashion his face, but what he needed was the transformation of his soul. We can only really accept ourselves for who we are when we find acceptance with God. We are his broken image bearers. He accepts us for what we are in Christ, offers us forgiveness and promises us renewal. The Christian is being transformed into the image of the perfect Man, Jesus Christ. This includes not only the restoration of our spiritual lives in true righteousness and holiness, but also the hope of resurrection glory. Our lowly bodies, marked by age, disfigured by sin and bound for the grave will be raised up and made like the glorious body of the Lord Jesus Christ. No amount of plastic surgery can do for us what our mighty Saviour will do when he comes to summon the dead to life. Then those who believe in him will be raised incorruptible and immortal (1 Corinthians 15:50-58). Is that your hope?
Justin Taylor has gathered together some more reflections on Jackson's death here.