For a lot of people, this past year hasn’t exactly been the best year of their lives. Because of COVID-19 and all that has transpired, many people feel their lives have been robbed in one way or another. And, not to minimize those who have died from COVID-19, but metaphorically speaking, it feels like we’ve all died in some manner.
Our lives have more or less stopped and been put on pause. We anxiously long to pick back up where we left off prior to the pandemic. We feel we can’t really move forward. And we are all waiting for things to change. We are hoping to beat COVID-19, come out of our graves, and get back to life as we once knew it.
Without articulating such, and without realizing it, you and I are hoping for resurrection. We’ve been submerged in a metaphorical sea of death. And like the mythical Phoenix, we long to rise triumphant from our ashes into the sun.
I think this existential angst we have experienced because of COVID-19 has touched on something primal in us. We realize life is short, and that ultimately, we are all going to die one day.
It’s an unfortunate reality. And even perhaps a scary one. But, we must all ultimately look death square in the eye. Like it or not, we are all going to die.
And deep down inside, whether we care to admit it or not, I think most of us wrestle with this fact. It’s a thought that randomly flies through our mind one way or another at times. A thought we do our best to regularly ignore or suppress.
For in it we realize that our life, no matter how good or how bad we find it, is the only one we have to live. And after this? Who knows. Depending on the narrative you embrace, most of us realize that we are either going to either black out like dogs, and will never even remember our own existence,, or we are going to enter into some ghost like dream world, completely disconnected from life as we know it.
So with that thought lingering in the back of our mind, this narrative shapes our approach towards life. As a result, we do everything we can to get the most out of life. We adopt a YOLO (You Only Live Once) philosophy towards life. And, we end up doing all that we can to soak up this world as much as we can. We do everything to maximize our pleasures and to minimize our pain, and to squeeze as much “purpose” as we can out of our futile existence and time under the sun.
For at the end of the day, that’s all we seem to have to look forward to. And after this life is over, the lights go out.
The Resurrection Of Jesus Changed Things
But I believe this is a narrative that needs to be challenged.
As a Christian, I believe that Jesus Christ was a historical person who lived, and then was crucified under Pontius Pilate. He suffered, He died, and then He was buried.
But miraculously, after 3 days, God raised Jesus Christ up from the grave. He was bodily resurrected. He came to life again. And He was seen by over 500 people, who then began testifying to this fact that a dead man named Jesus is now alive, and alive forevermore.
Of course, you might not believe any of this. And that’s fine if you don’t. But do consider for a moment that if this story is true, that Jesus Christ was raised from the grave, then such an event would be an indication that our perspective on death is wrong, and we need to change our narrative.
That means death doesn’t have the final say. It means that humans live more than once. And if it means humans live more than once, then this would have great implications for our YOLO styled approach towards life.
The Implications Of Resurrection Life
Indeed, at the heart of Christianity is the belief that even as Jesus Christ was crucified and raise to life, so too will we be made to live again one day. This is our “blessed hope,” and was central to the teachings of Jesus.
Jesus once said:
“Truly, truly, I say to you, a time is coming and even now has arrived, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live. For just as the Father has life in Himself, so He gave to the Son also to have life in Himself; and He gave Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this; for a time is coming when all who are in the tombs will hear His voice, and will come out: those who did the good deeds to a resurrection of life, those who committed the bad deeds to a resurrection of judgment.”~John 5:25-29 (NASB)
Jesus promises that one day He will return, and at the blast of His voice, all of humanity will come out of its grave and be miraculously made physically whole again. Everyone who shut their eyes and entered into the world of darkness will open them again one day. We will all live yet again, and stand for judgment.
Death will not have the final say. Jesus Christ, the Prince of Life, will have the final say.
Knowing these things, what manner of men ought we to be?
How should we live our lives?
There would be those who try to downplay the significance of whatever comes next. I’ve heard many Christians trivialize the life to come and it’s significance for having any source of meaning for their life in the present. They’ve divorced their present life from their future life altogether.
It might sound spiritual to say such, or even wise, but such isn’t Christian.
I believe as a Christian, God has called us to be a resurrection people. We must live our lives, no longer in fear of death, or fear that we might somehow miss out on some great thing.
Instead, we need to live our lives out of the perspective that you and I are going to live forever. And such should embolden and inform how we live our lives in the present.
Instead of seeing COVID-19 as something that has frustrated God’s plan and purposes for our lives, we need to see that we’ve had the opportunity to truly live this entire time.
Instead of wondering what life will be after COVID-19 is a distant memory, we need to think much further down the road.
Instead of making plans for this year, or a 5 year plan, we need a 10,000 year plan.
Instead of always trying to get all that we can out of life, making decisions only in “the now,” we must store up for ourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, nor where thieves break in and steal. For where our treasure is, there will our heart be also. (Matthew 6:19-21).
Jesus said the hour is coming and now is when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God. The issue of the resurrection isn’t just about the future. But it’s about the present as well. The resurrection of the dead isn’t just a future event, but something we can experience in the here and now.
The question isn’t whether or not you will hear Jesus’s voice calling you out of the grave one day. The question is whether or not you will hear that voice now? And will you live your life as one who has already been made alive from the grave?