Thursday, April 24, 2014

A Christian asks himself

How can I be living my life as though the resurrection didn’t really happen?
I say, “Christos anesti” with my lips, but what do I say with my heart?
What do I say with my life?

What is belief?
Is it just the mental agreement that a statement is true without experiencing the truth it expresses?

Can I live my life in the resurrection of Jesus while living it as though He did not die on the cross, and die on the cross for me?
I can humbly bow and cross myself with my body and kiss His image, but what worship does my spirit offer?

But the hour will come—in fact it is here already—when true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; that is the kind of worshipper the Father wants.
John 4:23 JB

Can I believe in the resurrection without believing in the Lord’s death?
How can I believe in the Lord’s death without experiencing it?
Can I believe in it by attending the services, or reading the bible, or is there more to believing than being a “good Christian”?
And what is a good Christian?

Then Jesus said to his disciples, ‘If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it.
Matthew 16:24-25 JB

“He is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”
—Jim Elliot, Martyr of Ecuador

Can’t I be a follower of Jesus without dying?
Isn’t all the talk about being buried with Christ in my baptism just a metaphor?
But if it is, what is there to do?

Back to my original question, why am I living as though the resurrection didn’t really happen?
Is it really because I don’t believe in the death of Christ and in the power of His life-giving cross?
What is this “power” of the cross?

All I want is to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and to share his sufferings by reproducing the pattern of his death.
Philippians 3:10 JB

Living as though the death of the Lord did happen will give you the power to live your life as though the resurrection did happen.
There is not one without the other.

You cannot live as though Jesus Christ died on the cross,
and still lie, steal and kill.
You cannot live as though He died for you,
and still treat others with disrespect.
You cannot live as though He endured temptation,
and still fornicate, alone or with another.
You cannot live as though He said from the cross,
‘Father, forgive them,’
and still hold grudges, envy the good fortune of others,
and judge your neighbor.

You cannot live as though He endured being stripped naked
and beaten,
and still look the other way and wink at wickedness,
and let the innocent be slaughtered.

You must give up your old way of life; you must put aside your old self, which gets corrupted by following illusory desires. Your mind must be renewed by a spiritual revolution, so that you can put on the new self that has been created in God’s way, in the goodness and holiness of the truth.
Ephesians 4:22-24 JB

“Christ says ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You. I have not come to torment your natural self, but to kill it. No half measures are any good. I don't want to cut off a branch here and a branch there, I want to have the whole tree down. I don’t want to drill the tooth, or crown it, or stop it, but to have it out. Hand over the whole natural self, all the desires which you think innocent as well as the ones you think wicked—the whole outfit. I will give you a new self instead. In fact, I will give you Myself: My own will shall become yours.’…”
—C. S. Lewis

So, this is the way to live a resurrected life, to live as though the resurrection of Christ really happened, to know that it happened, not just to say I believe in it:
To live a dying life, to let Christ nail not only my sins, but also my very self, what I think is me, what I think I want, to the cross.

…the thing that is sown is perishable but what is raised is imperishable; the thing that is sown is contemptible but what is raised is glorious; the thing that is sown is weak but what is raised is powerful; when it is sown it embodies the soul, when it is raised, it embodies the spirit.
1 Corinthians 15:42-44 JB

If we have died with him, then we shall live with him.
2 Timothy 2:11 JB

Lord, let me live as though You really rose from the dead, by living as though You really died for me.

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