Because We Survive
He came into this world and took the form required for His task. He lived a life and with it gained experience and opportunity. All along He knew His purpose. All along He showed us how to act. He lived a life that was free from sin. He offered an unblemished sacrifice to His father and with it gave us the greatest gift. He arose and now waits for us to join Him.
Sadly, for much of the world, there might be those who argue that He never “really” lived. By today’s standards, living is taking part in “the dream,” the dream to have your own home, your own family, your own desirable job and be fully capable of taking part in your every leisure. Is this bad? Are these things to be avoided? Surely not entirely. After all, we are commanded in Genesis 1:28: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”
The Creator would not desire us to multiply without some hope of a fruitful life to sustain. He has given us abilities to provide for our needs and raise our young. He has given us a planet that will respond to man’s care and blessed us with the hands to shape the Earth as we need for life. Is there a point at which we can go too far and abuse His creation? One of the great questions in our world today is knowing when we, as humans, have gone too far. If we stay in the paths of righteousness, He will restore our souls.
When we stray from His desires we reject the goodness to be shared in His blessings and become susceptible to increasing evil. Psalms 23:3
Within this theme of physical purpose, we must continue to calibrate ourselves in ways that make us pleasing to our God. Though He took human form, our Lord never faltered in the path He traveled. We can recall the 40 days of fasting and temptations that followed (Matt. 4:1-11). As our teacher, He set the perfect example for Christians by overcoming physical want of hunger/glory and refusing to demean himself in a quest for glory and world power/recognition of a more temporary and carnal nature. Similarly, let us focus on Him first, and if we find ourselves in positions of human authority, pray to make the best decisions in His service. We have those Biblical examples for guidance in Daniel, Joseph, and others who provide wonderful examples of those who decided to serve God.
Like they, we as Christians recognize that we are but “sojourners and exiles.”
We are here for a time and look forward to a greater reward. 1 Pet. 2:11. To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne. Rev. 3:21.
This promised reward comes with requirements on our part. The greatest price has already been given through the life of our perfect savior. He is God (Matt.1:23), He is the word (John 1:1), He is the only way (John 14:6), and to make it all possible He is the only perfect sacrifice Heb. (10:14). We must not take His sacrifice for granted, nor should we be presumptuous about the necessity for sacrifice on our part. “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” Hebrews 10:14
It is difficult to comprehend this idea of being sanctified. Upon research, one can find the generic meaning of sanctification is "the state of proper functioning." To sanctify someone or something is to set that person or thing apart for the use intended by its designer. We have a purpose, a mission, a promise to obtain salvation as a result of the precious life Christ gave. One must find value in the time we have been given, for work remains to be done. We should live as survivors, desiring to avoid guilt and seeking to find His love.
His physical form was offered, that through it ours’ might find salvation. His life was lived, through trials and conquests over sin, that we might share it. His blood, the sustenance of life, was poured out that we might drink of it in a worthy fashion. We are to draw near to Him, with the desire to embrace His nature with the fullness of belonging.
From personal experience, I can remember the trials of survivor’s guilt. I was granted an opportunity to more fully appreciate life. I value my life as one that could have been lost. I searched for answers that were not readily apparent. I walked into a future that seemed unclear.
The joy, as Christians, is that in our own walk we know the way is certain (1 John 5:11-13). While I reference a personal, physical trial I endured, it pales in comparison to the importance of the trials I now see on a daily basis. These have eternal repercussions. Each moment we live is one that defines who we are with desire, intent, and as a future recipient of righteous judgement.
As children, we are reminded to “be about our Father’s business” Luke 2:49. Even in His youth, Christ knew to be focused on this first priority. For us, this attitude also must remain foremost regardless of age and state. We have an eternal purpose, and if we will not give our life in order to pass the test in this life, how would one believe that we have sought God in order to receive the everlasting reward?