by Ernest O’Neill
In Christ! Now don’t go to sleep intellectually and tune out! The religious people have – with the best intentions in the world – turned this statement of reality into a mantra or clich?. But this is what we have been saying to each other all along – that our creator made you and me – in his son – way before he made the earth. And that he did all this – right in line with what Einstein discovered – in the one great eternal moment where He sees all things at once. In other words, it is really true what the physicists and cosmologists tell us – time does go slower the farther out in space you go. Obviously, even in physical terms, there’s a place where it is one eternal moment!
Why in Christ?
There our creator can see everything – millions of years – certainly your life – in one moment. He therefore knew that the gift of free will meant we had to be given the opportunity to destroy him if we wished – and he had to be able to survive that and yet bear what we did – otherwise free will was simply a mirage. So he made us inside his own son, who then bore inside himself all our egotistic yearnings and destructive cruelty – and held on to us – so that we could continue to share his own eternity. So he actually lives in each of now – and we live in him – even though the life most of us live now is the flashback to the earth-life and its consequences which we would have experienced if he hadn’t held us inside himself out of love for us.
This is why we say – there’s superhuman life in Christ – because he is inside you waiting for you to let him live your life – the life that he looked forward to when he made you inside himself. That life appears at times in you when you seem to have an odd moment of real unselfish feeling, but generally you live life imprisoned in your own earthy closed universe. All of this is what one of the earliest church fathers said – his name was Athanasius, and he explained that everyone who builds a house makes provision for its repair – so God made provision in his son for the repair of our human soul if we maimed or perverted it by our own wills.
So – This is “Your” Life – Christ’s Life in You!
Most of us have had moments when we did sense something higher inside us than ourselves – moments when we acted and thought above ourselves. It isn’t just Handel who wrote the famous Messiah in three weeks – we, too, have at times done things that we didn’t know we had the power to do. Those moments are “signals from outer space” – from eternity – from God’s Son inside each of us. And – far from being exceptional – that is the life we have been made to experience every day. Indeed, the lack of this reality is what brings black depression into our minds – or the hopeless empty feeling we have as we get older. Those signals are simply our dear Father Creator telling us we’re missing the secret of life – his son inside us!
So What Do We Do?
Begin to believe this! That’s the first obvious step. Then start reorienting the way we think each moment. Stop thinking that we’re little human animals out here on our own – start realising that there is a dear person (Christ’s own Spirit) inside us who has a whole existence that he wishes to share with us. He has things to do and say here on earth in us that we have ignored. Let’s see that he has borne all our wretched mistakes as well as all our self-righteous goodness – He bore it before even the world was made (John in the Bible writes that Christ was “crucified from before the foundation of the world”). This was so that God could bear it all and destroy it all in Christ (this is part of the meaning of what Paul meant when he wrote “our old self was crucified with Him”). Only God can bring about a retroactive destruction of the mess we have created with our lives – but he can – and had done that, so believe that – because “without faith it is impossible to please God”.
Many of us try to eradicate our evil self by psychology and the power of positive thinking, but there is only one way – “by the spirit to put to death the deeds of the body” – and that way is to believe that our Creator ended that subverted life of ours in his Son in timeless eternity. We can turn from the shadow – or burned out cinder of that former life – right now.
The Kingdom of God is Within You
Then begins your real life – because inside you is Christ’s own spirit – He will begin to give you a whole new way of thinking and acting and feeling. This means the end of a life lived in reaction – reaction to what this person says or what that government or boss does. It means an end to a life dominated by what the media or your peers expect of you. As you start to look to Christ himself, you’ll realise that you are actually part of him. In fact, you are him – not in the way megalomaniacs think – they think that they are Christ – apart from Christ. You realise that you are part of him – his actual expression – precisely because He Himself is in you.
But it’s vital to see that you are Him in the sense that his living in your name is a life that He has never lived before. You’re not just living a version of his Galilee life – you’re launching out on an exciting adventure – to live a life that God’s Son has never lived before in the universe – and that he has been looking forward to that as much as you!