I’d Rather Be Dead (and Live)

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…

1 Peter 1:3

Do you have reason to feel saddened? Those days, even those stretches of days, will find you. Depression tends to be a cost of living. When you try to accomplish something worthwhile, failure will accompany many of your attempts because genuine achievement is hard. Heartbreak walks hand-in-hand with true love; for nothing on this earth lasts, and love requires investing yourself into a fallible person who can fail you.

So, you could hide in your room. Lock your heart up in its room and slide it food beneath the crack of the door. Wouldn’t that be nice if we could live that way?

Some of you who are reading this may be so low that your initial response to that question is a resounding yes. Yet, even in the middle of your great loss, a few minutes of meditation will pass, and you’ll feel it deep down. You know that’s no way to live. It may be what you want, at least a part of you, but something stirring in your soul knows you could not possibly live life locked up.

Still, there is the obvious question that comes up after you’ve repeatedly tried and failed, loved and lost. If nothing lasts forever, is it not foolish to time and time again pour yourself into people and activities that will eventually become a letdown?

Before Christ rose from the grave, the teaching “he who tries to save his life will lose it” made absolutely no sense. Peter, however, reminds us that we have been born again into a living hope.

Sure, you can take worldly wisdom from such an idea that encourages people to press on through failure and heartbreak in order to find success and love. With or without Christ, anything that’s worth it requires hard work and perseverance through failure. The author of Ecclesiastes, though, shows us that such endeavor resembles a man who runs all over the face of the earth trying to capture the wind in a Coke bottle.

Since Jesus had risen from the dead, though, a brand new phenomenon has filled the earth. We can pour ourselves out into truly loving and serving people, though it means our death, because Jesus did the exact same thing; and he rose up from the dead.

So, we cannot live as if our hope died with our last failed relationship. Your hope, Christian, is alive. Does this mean you shouldn’t hurt or feel the pang of past failures? Of course not. Remember, the Christ, our Lord, cried out in Gethsemane that he not have to endure the cross. I feel he encountered that agony though he knew it would not be his end.

Death will not be easy. The struggle will be harder than you ever dreamed, but in the course of living, we can learn what it means for Christ’s burden to be light. It is light because he bore our weight, all of it–collectively at once. Still, he came back to life.

Therefore, rejoice. Your hope lives.

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