We Must Make Him Live Again

And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins.  Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.  If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. (1 Cor 15:17-19)

We echo Paul, especially this week and particularly on this day. And yet, we might also add:  If only in the next life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. Holy Week and Easter Sunday especially burden us with the question of how the Resurrection is manifest in this world and not just in the world to come. Jesus is also recorded as saying that he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John  14:6). How is Christ revealed as Life?

From Simone Weil:

The Gospel contains a conception of human life, not a theology. If I light an electric torch at night out of doors I don’t judge its power by looking at the bulb, but by seeing how many objects it lights up. The brightness of a source of light is appreciated by the illumination it projects upon non-luminous objects. The value of a religious, or, more generally, a spiritual way of life is appreciated by the amount of illumination thrown upon the things of this world. Earthly things are the criterion of spiritual things (The Just Balance, 199).

Christ is revealed as Life and Light only as he illuminates the living. Yes, the power of the resurrection will ensure that physical death is not the end of the body. Yet in an important sense we are the ones who must make Christ live again on this earth. He lives as we enact his life in our lives, bringing comfort to the weary, doing justice in the midst of injustice, healing and being with the sick and afflicted, providing food for the hungry, speaking out against oppression, sitting with others in mourning and suffering. Where these things are not, he has been put to death again, and we, claiming to know him and his mission yet not doing these things that help the world to live, are his executioners. Where his work lives in us he has risen again and again to bless the world. The resurrection is not just an event, but a work that we enact as disciples of the Risen Lord. So let us not forget what we will one day be resurrected for: to continue his work, as families; to go on eternally as his disciples; to fill the universe with the transformative power of his love; to bring light and make life where before there was only death.

He is risen. But we must make him live again.

Comments

  1. Super beautiful and powerful. Good job, Jacob.

  2. Thanks.

  3. Calvin J. Baker says:

    In these words is the essence of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I fear I crucify him daily, and therein rests the purpose of the atonement. Happy Easter, my son.

  4. I’m grateful for this wonderful post, Jacob.
    Sacrament meeting talks were not easter centered in my ward today (thank goodness the hymns were!). So you see, this post is just what i needed today, to keep me going.
    Thanks again.

  5. Amen, Jacob.

    I teach the oldest Sunday School class in my ward, and we have been discussing the Atonement the entire month. It has been wonderful to have five lessons focused on the Atonement, and I have stressed to the students the all-encompassing nature of that concept – that we miss the full majesty of the Atonement when we limit it to the Garden of Gethsemane alone and talk as if it has been completed already. We have talked about the part Jesus’ life played in the Atonement, about the concept of divine responsibility and accountability, the part we play in the need for an Atonement (including the suffering we inflict on others) – and today we spent the entire lesson discussing the cross and why I am saddened that we don’t talk more openly and actively about it in church. A common thread throughout the entire month has been how we participate in the work of the Atonement – how we become one not just with God but also with the children of God, and today we talked at length about what it means to “take up your cross and follow me”.

    This post is a great summation of that principle, and I will be sending the link to my students and their parents.

  6. Amen. And amen. And amen again.

  7. Beautiful. And amen, both to you AND your dad.

  8. Claire Baker says:

    So beautiful Jacob. This touched me deeply. Very profound and so true.

  9. Great thoughtful insight to the season!
    BTW- what’s the name of the painting ? I want one !

  10. There is definitely need for a living faith to be cultivated daily! Thank you ffor raiising your strain!

  11. Jacob,

    Would you please let me know where I can read the balance of your post :

    Recently Discovered Letter from Nietzsche Reveals Most Devastating Argument Against Christianity of All Time
    by Jacob .

    Thank you

  12. Jacob,

    Where may I read: Recently Discovered Letter from Nietzsche Reveals Most Devastating Argument Against Christianity of All Time
    by Jacob

  13. wg, it’s coming later today.

  14. Thank you.

  15. Thank you. I am printing this one onto real paper to have as a little charm in my purse.

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