How We Need to Live

Someone once said, “We need to live like Jesus Christ died yesterday, rose this morning and is coming back tonight!” I agree. There seems to be a lack of urgency in the lives of many people who profess to believe in Jesus and claim to follow him. Perhaps we would live more meaningful and effective lives if we would strive to adhere to the advice given above.

First, we need to live like Jesus Christ died yesterday. The early Christians seemed to live in the shadow of the cross, so to speak. Their thoughts were never far removed from the fact that in order for them to be saved, the Son of God had to die a painful death on the cross in order to pay for their sins. The preaching in the book of Acts made a beeline to the cross. The apostles’ sermons pointed out that Jesus was the Messiah, and this Messiah was put to death. It is the atoning death of Jesus Christ that offers the hope of salvation. He is the way and the truth and the life and no one comes to the Father except through Jesus. The early church embraced this fact and proclaimed it to all who would listen. We would do well if we meditated deeply every day on the cross of Jesus, and allowed those meditations to have a deep impact on how we live our lives each day.

The second part of that quote says that we need to live as though Jesus rose this morning. God did indeed raise him from the dead. In doing so, God put his stamp of approval on the life and teachings of Jesus. The resurrection proves that Jesus was everything he claimed to be—the Messiah, God in the flesh, Savior of the world.

The apostles included the resurrection in their preaching. They continually proclaimed the crucified and resurrected Jesus. Other Christians took this message with them wherever they went. Acts 8:4 says, “Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.” What word was it that they preached? The gospel message! The proclaimed that it was through the death and resurrection of Jesus that we have the promise of eternal life. When her brother Lazarus died, Jesus said to Martha, “…I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?’ ‘Yes, Lord,’ she replied. ‘I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.’” (John 11:25-27). What a difference it would make in our lives if we lived every day with the boldness that only comes from the confidence of having the promise of eternal life!

Finally, we need to live as if Jesus is coming back tonight. Jesus often reminds us in the gospels that we need to live our lives in constant readiness for his return. In Matthew 25 he tells three parables about the necessity of being ready for the second coming of Jesus. We can’t become complacent! There is far too much at stake! Eternity is in the balance, for us, and for everyone we know. Let’s take to heart what Jesus says in Mark 13:37—“What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’”

One way that we can focus on the death, resurrection and return of Jesus is to participate in communion on a regular basis. Jesus says that we must do this to remember him (Luke 22:19). However, taking the Lord’s Supper is more than just remembering his death and resurrection that happened in the past. It also encourages us to look forward to his return. 1 Corinthians 11:26 says, “For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.”

This, my friends, is how we need to live!

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