Last time I wrote, I talked about how we must make life worth the suffering. That if we didn’t have a strong reason to live for, then we wouldn’t be able to walk through the pains of the human condition. Clearly, a lot can happen in a month or so. Say… A pandemic? And all of the sudden, most of us can’t even leave our house. It’s here that we realise how much of our reason for being was tied up in what we DO.
Don’t worry. You’ll certainly get back to whatever it is you do in life. So, I want to remind you why life is worth the living in the first place.
These past few weeks I’ve been in overdrive trying to take our entire Church gathering online – plenty of Zoom/Teams meetings and more dollars than I’d care to spend – and my mind feels like it might break from all the stuff I’ve had to learn. There’s only one reason I haven’t broken under what feels like a mountain of pressure; because He lives.
You may be familiar with the song – we played it this week for our recorded worship session – the lyrics go;
“Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know He holds the future
And life is worth the living, just because He lives” (Bill and Gloria Gaither)
Easter was a powerful reminder of this truth; everything we do now we do because of the Gospel. I almost want to end my thoughts here, because truth be told, I don’t think it’s any more complex than that. However, I’m not sure an article less than three hundred words would be too beneficial.
When Christ died – the event we attempt to remind ourselves of with chocolate bunnies and assorted eggs – a lot of people might have said ‘well he’s done plenty’; I really don’t think we could ask for more than Christ dying for our sins, because in doing so he has taken the ‘sting’ of death away (one only has to see the martyrs or understand the idea of Heaven). Of course, that’s true; we’re saved through the death of God incarnate in flesh. But we need to remember that this death is but one episode in the story.
If death is now defeated and we no longer have to fear it, there’s still a huge gaping problem… Why live?
Quality of life
I think part of the answer is found in the resurrection. The idea seems to be something like ‘when Christ rises, we rise with him’.
Well, what do I mean by that?
The New Testament is full of language like ‘adoption’ and ‘co-heirs’ and other such language which all seem to suggest a kind of ascension of the Human state. Not that I’m saying we get ‘upgraded’ and can suddenly shoot lightning out of our fingertips, but I think what the NT authors are often getting at is an idea of the quality of the Believer.
A famous scripture to this effect is found in Romans Chapter eight, verse eleven NRSV:
“If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also through his Spirit that dwells in you.”
I’m sure a very twisted reading of this could start a religion on reincarnation, so I’d recommend people read the whole book (and Bible!) for themselves. To me, however, this verse suggests a vibrancy and excitement I try to carry with me in life. Thus, we return to the song I mentioned,
Because he lives
Since he lives and has raised us with him so we are now the adopted sons and daughters of God, then we can reach the goal of salvation and existence finally; communion with God. Do you see what I mean? Through Christ’s death, yes, our own fear of death no longer holds us back. But, through Christ’s new life and ascension – because he lives – we are able to experience the love and glory of God in ways we never would have known possible.
I’d like to suggest a change to the lyrics of that song. See, I don’t feel we should sing “I CAN face tomorrow”, something about that suggests life to be such a burden and terrible tragedy. Perhaps something like ‘Because he lives, I can’t wait to face tomorrow” (nowhere near the poetic beauty of the original, but you get the idea) would capture the idea more strongly; every day, isolated or not, I get to spend knowing God more is a day I can’t wait to experience.
Josiah Gray lives in Logan City, Australia. He is currently studying teaching at Christian Heritage College and is committed to telling the story of Jesus to the next generation. Josiah’s previous articles may be viewed at: https://www.pressserviceinternational.org/josiah-gray.html