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Life, Death and Resurrection!

21 April 2014 One Comment

resurrectionEvery year, during the Easter season, there are people all over the world who remember the passion and the death of Jesus Christ on the cross and wonder what prompted Him to sacrifice His life for us! It’s obvious that on that cross Jesus was not a victim, because He said: “No one takes My life from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down and power to take it again” (John 10:18).

That statement is difficult to understand for those who have never experienced some kind of death and resurrection in their life and can’t really see the purpose for it, as they are very attached to their present life and what they think and believe that they can possess forever.

If you think about it, life is made of many “deaths” and “resurrections”, and it’s usually these that help us mature and bear fruit. Whenever we lose something or someone we hold dear, we experienced a type of “inner death“, because we have to let go of what we considered certainties, but turned out to be only temporary. The truth is that life is transitory and there’s nothing permanent on earth that we can keep forever. Sooner or later we have to let it go.

lilac-crossThe good news is that, whenever there’s something in us that dies, there’s something better that is about to be born and we experience a type of “resurrection“. That’s the message of the cross! Jesus knew this principle, as He said: “Truly I say unto you that, except a corn of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it will produce much fruit” (John 12:24).

Some Christians think that being a disciple of Christ means only enjoying the “benefits” of believing in Him, and that there’s no cross for us to bear, but they are wrong! Although we are not called to carry His cross, as that’s one that only Jesus could carry for our salvation, yet we are called to carry our cross, because He said: “If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. Whoever will save his life shall lose it; but whoever will lose his life for My sake, the same will save it” (Luke 9:23, 24).

Notice that Jesus said to take up our cross “daily”. Contrary to the cross of Christ, who “was once offered to bear the sins of many” (Hebrews 9:28 ), our cross is not one that can be taken up once and then “it is finished” (John 19:30), but we are called to take it up “daily”, not trying to save ourselves, but continuing to die to “produce much fruit” (John 12:24).

The apostle Paul said, “I die daily “( 1Cor. 15:31 ), and the fruits he produced with his life are known. If we want to be disciples of Jesus, we are called to die “daily”, because he said that “whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me, cannot be My disciple” (Luke 14:27). “The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord” (Matt. 10:24 ). “If any man serves Me, let him follow Me; where I am, there shall also be My servant” (John 12:26). Paul added that “unto us it is given not only to believe on Him, but also to suffer for him, having the same conflict that we saw in him” (Phil.1: 29).

What’s the purpose of life, death and resurrection? For Christ, “it was necessary that He would suffer and rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be preached in His name among all nations” (Luke 24:46 ), because it was the only way for us to be redeemed from death and experience resurrection. Jesus knew it, and announced it several times, saying that “he had come to give His life a ransom for many” (Matt. 20:28).

If Jesus died in our place, why do we must continue to die “daily”? It’s the conflict between our soul’s desire to hold on to our old passions, and the “new spirit” (Ezekiel 36:26) in us that wants to emerge and let us experience His resurrection.

The life, death and resurrection of Christ paved “the way” for us. “Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow His steps” (1Peter 2:21). We should not try to spare ourselves, but embrace our cross “daily”, if we want to be disciples of Jesus, “who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God “(Hebrews 12:2).

“Whoever would save his life will lose it; but whoever will lose it for My sake shall find it ” (Matthew 16:25).

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cartoline-buona-pasqua
“Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
(Psalm 30:5).

HAPPY EASTER TO EVERYONE!

Renato e Patrizia

 

email@renatoamato.com

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