What was the greater miracle? Emerging from the dead still alive or emerging from the dead still in love with us?
His rising from the dead was indeed a miracle - a spectacular, nonpareil display of the awesome power of God. Nobody rises from the dead. He did. Death was a wall without a way to pass through it - a dead end. The good news of great joy with regard to death is that Jesus opened the door through the wall of death, passed through it himself and invited us to follow him through the door back to our home with him and his holy family in paradise . It is hard to imagine the performance of a greater and more diificult miracle than rising from the dead.
Yet, the Son of God performed another miracle whose glory surpassed the glory of his victory over death!
We are born in the image and likeness of God . The greater the love we bear in our hearts, the greater the resemblance we bear to God. Our success as we pass through the valley of tears is measured by the degree we maintain our resemblance to God. Unfortunately, an enemy tries to thwart us - tries to prevent us from achieving success. The enemy is a fell monster that resides within us. Some call this fell monster "self". The fell monster within us has the power to transmogrify us into the most hideous and miserable of loveless beasts - the power to destroy any and all resemblance that we bear to God - the power to squeeze the last drop of love out of our hearts as water is squeezed out of a sponge - the power to destroy the kingdom of God that is within us . The fell monster evolved within us as part of our natural, flght-or-flight instinct . The monster instructs us to cease and desist from loving the enemies who do evil against us. The advice is seductive. It seems rational to release our grip on love. But it is not. It is the wrong response when evil is inflicted upon us. Indeed, disregarding the advice and instruction of the fell monster within us is not easy. It is counter-intuitive to cling to love, hold tight and not let go when our enemies do evil against us. It feels wrong. It seems irrational. Our self-interest seems to demand that we release our grip on love. But this "feeling" is steering us in the wrong direction - in a direction that is contrary to our self-interest. So
Jesus slew the monster within him. He denied his very self . As Shakespeare said, love "is twice blest: it blesseth him that gives and him that takes" . Love benefits both its source and its recipient. Love is the aspect of divinity that we must seek first . Love is the kingdom of God that is within us. Love is the treasure buried in the field. Sell everything even your very life to acquire it . The glory of his victory over the fell monster within him outshines the glory of his victory over death. Live Jesus in our hearts! Forever!
All "gods" are expected to have the power to rise from the dead. If their power were smaller than death's, we wouldn't consider them "gods". But what "god" besides our God is head over heals in love with us? Rising from the dead is child's play compared to the impossible feat of continuing to love us nonetheless even though we tortured and killed him. His love for us makes our God unique. It is the good news of great joy. Because his love for us survived the evil that we did to him - the ringer we put him through - the cruel baptism into which we immersed him - the Cross on which we impaled him bloody and alive like a worm on a hook, his love for us was proven reliable. We can depend on it. Its reliability makes it the suitable foundation upon which we can build our lives . Don't just take the word of the Word of God for it. The irrefutable proof is found in the conversation between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection.
Build your lives on the love of God. It is the reliable foundation on which to build your lives. Proof of reliability is found in the conversation that took place between the Crucifixion and the Resurrection - the greatest and most important conversation that humanity has ever had with God.
How do We Build Our Lives on the Foundation of His Love for Us?
How do we build our lives on the foundation of his love for us? How is it done? How?
When you hang as Jesus hung, cling as Jesus clung, and love as Jesus loved . Follow him.
He refused to let the evil we did to him to transmogrify him into the most hideous and miserable of loveless beasts. By clinging to love, holding tight and refusing to let go, he showed us what God looks like .
Deification is achieved through the acquisition of love not through the acquisition of power.