Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” – (John 11:25-26)
The conversation at my Wednesday evening “Men’s Room” small group this week was – and we’ve come to expect this – deep and meaningful. The men I meet with are faithful, they are thoughtful, and they are spiritually astute.
However – and I’ve come to expect this too – our conversation is never a re-hash of the “same old same old.” The idea is to move forward in our spiritual understanding and our practice of faith in day-to-day life. Consequently, and this is a result of a combination of pre-class reading, scripture, prayer, and the individual stories we all bring to the table, there are usually several “ah-ha” moments before we’re done.
For me, this week’s “ah-ha” was about the resurrection. Interestingly, it was a level of understanding I’ve talked about before, and even introduced in one of my books, but this particular time the truth of it hit home and I found myself excited, animated, and full with renewed passion.
Of course, that’s exactly the point of meeting together to encourage one another in faith.
NEW LIFE! The catalyst for our conversation was a segment from the C.S. Lewis essay “What are we to make of Jesus Christ,” from God in the Dock. Christ’s resurrection was not about survival after death, Lewis argued, but “a totally new mode of being [had] arisen in the Universe… as new as the first coming of organic life.”
So I asked my friends this question: “How, then, was the resurrection of Jesus different from the time (just a short while earlier) that Jesus raised his friend Lazarus from death?”
And of course the answer is that for Lazarus the healing was a kind of reversal, a restoration of life he already had. Then, later, Lazarus died again… because that is the nature of our life. But the resurrection of Jesus was different, it was the beginning point of something brand new!
And that is what we are born into when we begin to put our trust in Jesus and make the decision to follow him. It’s know as “A New and Living Way” because that’s exactly what it is. It’s life charged with more life; life charged with new life; it’s The Life-Charged Life!
BACK AT THE MEN’S ROOM: That’s what got me animated, and excited, and impassioned at the men’s meeting Wednesday evening. We’re talking about what it means to be participants in the New Creation!
I don’t know how God’s going to sort things out in the end. I certainly respect and understand the convictions of those who earnestly seek to know God via religious traditions other than Christianity. But this I do know, I know that the invitation of Jesus to be reconciled to God via his “New and Living Way,” is unique, and I know that the invitation of Jesus (“I am the gate”) is the entry point to this “New mode of being” – as C.S. Lewis describes it.
This is the life charged with more life. This is, as the writer of First Timothy (6:19) puts it, “The life that is truly life.”
- Comment Policy: (borrowed almost exactly from the most excellent blog of fellow commentator Rachel Held Evans). I’m implementing this as of today: “Please stay positive with your comments. If your comment is rude, it gets deleted. If it is critical, please make it constructive. If you are constantly negative or a general [rear-end], troll, or hater, you will get banned. The definition of terms is left solely up to us.”