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Life Through Death

In The Matrix, Neo is told many things that make absolutely no sense to him (or to us the audience) until later in the movie. One of the pivotal staements is this one by the mysterious “Oracle”:

The Oracle: Sorry, kid. You got the gift, but it looks like you’re waiting for something.
Neo: What?
The Oracle: Your next life maybe, who knows? That’s the way these things go.

Neo has no idea what “next life” means— it makes no sense to him.

However, at the end of the movie, Neo does die, and out of that death comes life, a life that has energy, power, ability, destiny.  It is life on a completely different level than he had thought possible before, life on a higher and broader scale than he even had a category for, but it came only through death.

In a sense, all of us who have experienced the new birth through faith in Christ have a new life on a whole different level. But why do so few feel like it or act like it?  There sure was no mistaking Neo was different after he was “born again”:

 

 

Part of the reason that we are still living such ordinary lives is simply this: we’re not dying.  We are not experiencing life because we are not embracing death. We are not experiencing the power of the resurrection because we haven’t experienced the power of the crucifixion.

We are not taking seriously the words of Christ, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit.” (John 12:24 ESV). We seem more comfortable thinking about dying with Christ only in the past tense. And there is an important past tense, finished and done aspect of our death in Christ, but it isn’t meant to end there, to stay a one time past event. Instead, God intends for us to come to it again and again, every day of our lives.

But we like to keep dying with Christ in the past tense, don’t we? Maybe that’s because only thinking of being crucified with Christ in the past tense makes no demand of us: if we don’t have to think about dying today, we know we don’t have to give up anything today, we don’t have to experience any suffering today.  But the power to live a supernatural life can only come through death; and not just the death we experienced at the moment of our new birth, but death to self that we must embrace every day, death that will bring us more fully into the reality, present tense, that Paul was talking about when he wrote, “It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20 ESV).

Embrace the cross
Where Jesus suffered
Though it will cost
All you claim as yours…

Embrace the life
That comes from dying…

Embrace the cross
Embrace the cross
The cross of Jesus

(from Embrace the Cross by Steve Green)

We need to fervently pray every day, “God, kill everything within me that is not focused on glorifying Your name!”