Wednesday, Jan 19, 2022. Hello and good morning! We have discussed the human state of life yesterday, working out the perspective of the New Testament. Humans who live ignoring the creator and source of life of the universe have lost their connection to the source of life. They are called “dead” from his perspective. Life is the connection with him, dead refers to the missing link.
But death is not the end of the story. God wants life, and here we come to the story of Jesus!
New Life through Jesus …
There is new life in and through Jesus. Let us first read and study the way this is framed in the biblical letter which the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Ephesus.
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, 5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions – it is by grace you have been saved. 6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, 7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. (Ephesians 2, 4-7)
Let us reflect and discuss what Paul means with these words. It is a New Testament description of our state of life, and of possibilities which arise through Jesus.
First of all, the “death in transgressions” means that we have chosen to cut the link to God and live without him. Without him immediately means our path takes off from what would be good. We make decisions which are bad. There are all shades of bad here in our life, from small missing truthfulness to full crime. But even if we continue to live our life, this means that we are ultimately dead, that we have lost the connection to the eternal source of life. There is no life without this source, without this connection.
… the connection reestablished …
There is one important point: would it be possible for us to reestablish the connection? The answer is: No! It is not possible for us to get reconnected with God by our own choice. We cannot reach him. We can try to be “good”, to carry out good actions. But the overall framework of our choices is very unlikely to be on the right path. There are, of course, very prominent examples of good actions of humans from all religions, from atheists and theists alike. There are these examples. But it is not yet reestablishing the connection to the source!
The bible claims that God creates a new connection through Jesus. His life and death symbolize and establish the consequence of “death”. He lives a life in connection to God. He does it, as a human. But he gets cut-off symbolically and practically at the cross, to demonstrate the true consequence of our state of life. Of course, we can discuss this “cross”, its meaning. A good part of the Old Testament is building templates of the cross, the whole custom of sacrifice before entering the most holy part of the temple symbolizes the consequence of death of a life which lost the Lord.
In and through Jesus we can re-enter the connection. It is an invitation to explore who God is. It is an invitation to start a life which builds and lives in this connection. There are many further images to show how this life works, the New Testament is a rich source of inspiration. There is much to discover for you and for me! (Roland Potthast)