With Easter Good News, Jesus offers us all new life. The catch is, we have to die first.
When Jesus promises us new life, that means everlasting life after death. Jesus also wants to offer us new life on a smaller scale. Spring can symbolize new life within life, to be better versions of ourselves after the spiritual work we have done in Lent. Each morning can bring new life, a fresh start to grow and be alive in Christ. Sometimes in prayer, every inhale feels like a new life, bringing in new energy and opportunity through breath. New life is good news, no doubt.
But there are no shortcuts. We have to be willing to die in order to find new life. Dying is the hard part. This is where faith comes in. We cannot have Easter without Good Friday. The Gospel for this week is clear: “Those who love their lives will lose them.” The only way to new life is through death. This is true, I believe, on the smaller scale as well. Joan’s fields had to burn one year in order to thrive the next. The wheat has to die before it can become the bread of life. Jesus must die—really suffer and die– in order to offer us everlasting life. We can see death as destruction, or we can see it as a necessary (albeit painful) part of the creation cycle. We can see death as the end, or we can choose to see it as the beginning.
Our lives are full of little deaths. When we play sports, our muscle fibers have to break down before they can build back up. Being sore is not fun, but it is a death that is necessary for new growth. A college rejection note is the death of a dream. Being said no to hurts, but it encourages us to keep looking to find a mutual fit that we may be overlooking. A divorce is a death of a marriage. This death is painful and can hurt so many people. We must deal with the pain of loss when a beloved family member or pet passes away.
Death is scary, both little deaths and the ultimate death. This is where our faith really comes into play. If we trust Jesus’ promise, if we can hold on to the life that we love loosely instead of clinging, we know there is new life waiting for us.
What little deaths have you experienced?
Why must you die to in order to find new life this Easter?
Photo courtesy of emlgx via Creative Commons Licence