Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Restoration of Life

Christianity doesn’t offer to help us come to terms with death. Unlike secularism and religion, Christianity doesn’t offer comfort for breathing corpses, positive-thinking for a meaningless life, or pills to quiet the voices in our hearts that tells us there is something terribly wrong with “me.” Yes, sadly, when it comes to dying and death, the message of some Christians is only to light a candle at a memorial service and tell everyone that God is here for those who remain in the world and will be there for us after death, just as He is there for the dearly departed. (Please note my perfect imitation of Rev. Lovejoy.) Really? That’s what passes for the Good News of Christ?

The Christian message is not about comfort. It doesn’t offer us 7 Steps For Gliding Through Life Into Eternity or How To Rid Your Life of Tribulation and Suffering!  No. Its message addresses our tragic deformation and present relationship to death: not just death at the end of our lives, but the death that oozes out of our very pores as we go about pretending that life divorced from God is meaningful, and that suffering and death are normal.

The Norm is that death is more powerful than life? The Norm is to be subjugated to disintegration and death? Why then do our hearts recoil in the face of The Norm? Why is it that, deep within our souls, we long for something more than this? Why do we look at suffering, disease, and death, and sense that something is not right with the world or with us? Where did this “Not right” within us come from?

Why do we know that beauty is better than ugliness, love better than hatred, and life infinitely better than death: Because the God of beauty, love, and life created us in His image. And no matter how corrupted or deformed that image is within us, there is enough left to tell us that life, not death, is what we were created for: that death is abnormal, that death is our enemy.

The Restoration of Life
The message of Christianity is that the God who is Life came into this world to save people who had freely chosen to subjugate themselves and the world to death. The God of Life conquered death and offered us eternal life, here and now, not just after we die.

The Life of God did not come into the world as a Philosophy, an Ideology, an Institution, a Religion, or a set of rules to live by: this Life was made manifest in a Person, the Perfect Man – Jesus Christ. This God who took upon himself flesh, lived for us, died for us, was buried for us, and was resurrected for us. This God-Man defeated death so that life, once again, has meaning and purpose, so that Life is now The Norm, and time itself is filled with eternity, light, and love.

Christ died
Christ rose again
Christ has conquered death
Life reigns

“And this is life eternal, that they might know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom you have sent.” (John 17.3) In knowing God through Christ, we are united with the God who is Life eternal. By turning away from the death of separation from God and being united with Him, death is no longer an enemy, but is Christ himself. For in him, “all things are yours …. the world or life or death or the present or the future—all are yours, and you are of Christ, and Christ is of God.” (1 Corinthians 3)

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2014

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