by Ernest O’Neill
We have been discussing the fact that you and I are not simply sons and daughters of our parents. Although we entered this life on earth through their bodies, we ourselves have been created by God inside His Son who appeared on earth around 4 b.c. as Jesus of Nazareth. He existed outside this planet with his father, our creator; and inside him, we existed – long before we appeared here. The myth of reincarnation misinterprets this miraculous event by implying we existed in all kinds of other forms, but the reality is that we are human because we are part of the Great Human, Jesus Christ who is permanently both god and man. This is why Matthew referred to Jesus as the son of man even when he was describing the final judgement day when Jesus would return to earth as the judge of all (Matthew 25:31).
What is Christ Like?
But because you have been made inside Christ, that is what you’re really like. Just as you cannot escape some of the characteristics of your mother because you were born inside her, so you share the nature of Christ, God’s son. His nature is, of course, your real nature where your mother’s was often a temporary perversion of that. The result is that you yourself can live in the pain of deception about your own real nature because you don’t see or accept what God Himself (and therefore you) is really like.
God himself is the person who resolved to have others like himself to share his love and life. Although He could do this only by making them inside his only-begotten son so that they shared his own actual nature, yet he determined to do this. However, his nature is free – that is, he is free to do what he wants – he has free will. This meant that the beings that he created inside his son would also be free – free to abide in Christ in peace and love or free to tear Christ apart inside by asserting their will either in activity or passivity.
That is God’s nature – willing to bear whatever pain is necessary in order to bring into existence others like Himself ! It is also the nature of Christ. And it is also your real nature ! God is one who faces all the consequences of his good actions – that is his nature. He does not evade the agony caused by those he has given freedom inside his son: he actually dwells inside his son – and his son dwells inside him. So whatever Christ bears from you each day, God himself bears. This is why Paul writes in 2 Corinthians 5:19 “in Christ, God was reconciling the world to himself…”. Our creator did the unthinkable; he put himself at our mercy and bore the worst that we could do. Reality is that we are still inside Christ and all that we do bears upon Him; and through Him, our actions crucify God himself again and again. This is His nature ! This is the only way he can bring into existence beings like himself – however long it takes.
But you cannot escape the reality that, however far you may have wandered from it, your real nature is that of the “stone from which you were hewn” or the person in whom you were created. You, too, are made to bear and bear and bear again. Whenever you try to reject this reality, your life looses direction and you become bewildered and unfulfilled. Eventually, you can even die in desolation and disorientation.
We humans can bring about such an unreal perversion of ourselves either by rising against such a consistently “submissive” nature or by sinking away from the activity of such a nature. From his own birth in infinity, Christ has continuously bowed to His Father’s commitment to “work all things according to the counsel of his will” i.e. to make things work the way He wills. Even when Jesus felt on the cross in 29 a.d. that he was utterly alone and cried out “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me”, still he stayed on the cross and trusted God to see him cease to exist, if necessary. This is his nature; and it is ours also. We are made to allow Christ to continue to be himself in us. We are made to live a life of active trust and submission to whatever God allows in our lives; we are made to act in positive love and to refuse to “call a host of angels to our aid” or to use Peter’s sword to protect ourselves by our own chosen ways. Whenever we reject our real nature by evading God’s burden-gifts or acting to remove them by our own methods, we experience dislocation and disorientation – the darkness of Hell.
We can also pervert our real nature by passively sinking away from this whole reality that we are actually part of Christ by withdrawing into our own selves and running a little imaginary world where we are the center, not God. This is the opposite of the Prometheus-life assertion of our wills against God’s ways; it is rather a passive withdrawal into ourselves by refusing the whole truth that we are part of Christ and do not have an existence of our own inside ourselves apart from Him. This leads to a Hell of loneliness, isolation, and self-defence that becomes utterly unbearable.
Reality is that you are part of Christ – part of God Himself – and your happiness is firmly anchored in being what you are. Such an attitude and life enables your creator to be what he wants to be in you; and it enables you to be what you are in Him.