We made it. The last day of the Dying to Live series. It has been an awesome journey for me and I hope for you as well. I have enjoyed sharing it with my husband, as well as with my sister. It is ironic that on the day that many seek to celebrate death on Halloween, we too seek to celebrate how Christ’s death brought life. Today is really not the end, but the beginning as we see how Jesus life totally and completely was one of Dying to Live.
“On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. They went in but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood by them in dazzling clothes. So the women were terrified and bowed down to the ground.
‘Why are you looking for the living among the dead?’ asked the men. ‘He is not here, but He has been resurrected! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, saying, ‘The Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day?’” And they remembered His words.” Luke 24:1-8
Jesus did not stay dead. The women were looking for the living God in the tomb. How silly when they remember Jesus’ words. Sometimes I believe we as Christians live our lives as though we are looking for our God in the tomb. Our God is not dead! Nor should we be living like it!! Christ came so that we might have life and have it abundantly (John 10:10b).
Christ provided, through His resurrection, a way for us to live eternally with Him. More importantly, He provided a way for us to have fellowship with a Holy God here on earth as well as eternally in heaven. This is done by denying oneself and taking up the cross.
“Then Jesus said to His Disciples, ‘If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me. For whoever wants to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life because of Me will find it. What will it benefit a man if he gains the whole world yet loses his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?’” Matthew 16:24-26
“The cross is laid on every Christian. The first Christ-suffering which every man must experience is the call to abandon the attachment of this world. It is that dying of the old man which is the result of his encounter with Christ. As we embark upon discipleship we surrender ourselves to Christ in union with his death—we give over our lives to death. Thus it begins; the cross is not the terrible end to an otherwise godfearing and happy life, but it meets us at the beginning of our communion with Christ. When Christ calls a man, he bids him come and die…because only the man who is dead to his own will can follow Christ. In fact every command of Jesus is a call to die, with all our affections and lusts. But we do not want to die, and therefore Jesus Christ and his call are necessarily our death as well as our life…
If we refuse to take up our cross and submit to suffering and rejection at the hands of men, we forfeit our fellowship with Christ and have ceased to follow him. But if we lose our lives in his service and carry our cross, we shall find our lives again in the fellowship of the cross with Christ…”
Bonhoeffer understood the fellowship with the Father that Jesus enjoyed. He understood how the cross opens up the opportunity for us to walk in this same fellowship now and for eternity. Thus how are we to truly live? By dying to all that is within our old nature and joyfully taking up the cross of Christ and following Him. It is taking up our cross and one step at a time walking in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ that allows us daily communion and fellowship with our Lord. Being crucified with Christ is the only way to find true life worth living.