Look around you. Do you see Christians living an easy life, immune to disease, distress or difficulty? How is it for you – do you avoid woundedness or weariness? Does your life and work roll comfortably along with no stresses or strains?
Around the world Christian’s suffer mentally, physically and emotionally in every imaginable way.
Consider your work. Do things always go well for you as a Christian? Are you always satisfied, successful and fulfilled?
We all know that the Christian week is as full of struggles, troubles and problems as any other week.
Yet the Son of Man tells you that he has come that you might have life, and life in all its fullness. So what does that mean? If you think it will mean trouble-free then you will be disillusioned and disappointed. There are those who pretend that trouble is not there in an attempt to live a victorious Christian life. This will not be sustainable nor will it pass the reality test.
Yet the Son of Man makes his statement. Yet again it will only make sense if you see it from within his life, through his eyes and contained in his internal architecture.
Don’t be misled, when Jesus says ‘Life in all its fullness’ he uses a phrase which means super-abundance. So how do you connect your troubled life with this concept of super-abundance?
Go through the gateway into his life and you will see many things which will solve the puzzle. I will mention four.
First, it’s a life that can’t be stolen. Start with the Son of Man’s words, “No one takes my life from me – I lay it down”. When you have his life in you it cannot be stolen by any thief or robber.
Secondly, it’s a life that cannot be destroyed. Jesus laid down his life and took it up again. We call it the resurrection. Every time you lay down your life you arise. Every day you will be able to live the resurrection life including the day that your body dies.
Third, it can always go in and out. We have thought about this freedom and security before – super abundant life has this as an ever present reality – forever.
Fourth, this life always remains connected to the love of God, nothing can snatch that away.
When you add up these four dimensions you have the beginnings of understanding super abundant life. There are no guarantees that this life will be easy, trouble-free or comfortable. But you can see what guarantees do come with it.
This life has these four features because they are qualities of the life of the Son of Man himself. His life is not steal-able, it is indestructible, it contains cast iron freedom and security along with permanent connection to God’s love. That is the life of the Son of Man, he came that you might have this life as a gift.
Now take that to work with you and see how it impacts your stresses, strains, troubles and suffering. Look around you and see how that life has sustained Christians in unimaginable suffering. Grasp how it has enabled your brothers and sisters to face the worst that this world can do.
Now you can also see how this life becomes the nourishment for everything that you do this week and every week.
Some lights cannot be extinguished, some doors cannot be closed, some voices cannot be silenced. Such is the Son of Man and such is his life.
Time to live.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
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