What if we lived as though death no longer existed?
No, but really. What if we lived as though death was literally not an option for us? What if we chose to radically live in the newness of life that Jesus offers us through His Resurrection?
By living as if death no longer existed, I don’t mean living naively as though to ignore the reality of death. Living this way means viewing death on earth not as an end to life, but a new beginning, the start of an eternity in the presence of God.
It’s not that crazy of an idea. After all, Jesus said it: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever keeps my word will never see death” (John 8:51). How is this possible when we know death is a reality? We must remember that, as beings created with a soul, we are meant for eternal life. It is in sin that we experience death. Through Christ’s Resurrection, Jesus defeated death for all eternity. We are set free from the eternal effects of sin and we are given the opportunity to participate in the new life offered to us through the Resurrection.
“Christ is risen from the dead!
Dying he conquered death;
to the dead he has given life” (CCC 638).
What does this mean for us?
Here is the thing. We participate in this new life in eternity, but we also can participate in this new life now. The Resurrection means that our lives are radically changed.
Sometimes I fail to realize what the Resurrection means for my life. Often times I am too busy worrying about daily tasks, getting all my work done, or focusing on my own momentary suffering. The fact that Jesus defeated death not only gives me the opportunity to enter eternal life, but also dramatically changes my daily life. When I live in the knowledge of the Resurrection, “death” is transformed in our daily lives. This means our sufferings, hardships, sinfulness, and burdens have the chance to be restored into new life.
It took me awhile to figure this out, and it is something I have to remind myself of daily. Fortunately, I have had many great models of this in my life. I have had friends who have lost multiple loved ones in short periods of time, rather than turning to despair she was able to turn her suffering into rejoicing because she knew death was not the end. I have also had friends who have shown me this by turning to Christ for the first time in their life; they truly lived in the newness of life offered by Christ by turning away from their sin and turning to God’s glory.
Our lives will change.
So what does it mean to live as death no longer existed? Just as my friends did, it means to live in the power of the Resurrection daily. It means that death has no victory because the Cross is our true victory. When we live in the Resurrection we don’t have to look any further for answers to “death” in our life. Death has already been answered by the victory of the cross. Jesus already conquered the grave and he conquers graves in our own lives every day.
If we all chose to live in this knowledge, our lives will change in a dramatic and holy way. It can be easy to remember this on Easter. But it’s not so easy live in this knowledge a couple of weeks or months from now when we experience the loss of a loved one, a fight with a friend, struggle with depression, or fail a test.
Whatever your hardship, remember that death literally has no power over us. Because of the Resurrection, our physical death is our entrance into eternal life. Because of this we have hope! Hope that our suffering will be made new and that our lives will be made new everyday and for eternity with Christ! Live in this knowledge and allow the Resurrection change your daily life.
“Love wins; death no more” is now our anthem. Will it be yours?
“O Death, where is your sting? O Hell, where is your victory? Christ is risen, and you are overthrown. Christ is risen, and the demons are fallen. Christ is risen, and the angels rejoice. Christ is risen, and life reigns. Christ is risen, and not one dead remains in the grave. – St. John Chrysostom