They told Jesus that his friend Lazarus was sick, real sick. He said that this sickness would not end with death. Lazarus did die. But it was not the end because Jesus brought him back. Back from the dead.
But there is a sickness that ends in death. And just as Jesus showed that physical death was not the end of existence, he also offered the cure for the malady of sin. Sin is the sickness that leads to death.
Sin is wrongness and the wrong actions that result from that internal wrongness. The wrongness grows in us until there is no more hope. And our guilt comes from knowing some actions we have done are wrong. But we are wrong which is why we do wrong.
Some point to God’s forgiveness as the cure for sin. Sure, forgiveness is part of the cure. A big part. It covers the wrong things done in the past (and future really) but there is more to it. The cure for sin is to hate it. But you can’t live by a negative. But we can embrace the new spirit that wants newness over wrongness.
I said newness. Why? Because we don’t know what rightness looks like. And the Life from God is all new. New to us but not to God. Humans have gone their own way since they first walked the planet.
And now, we cannot figure ourselves out. We are a paradox. Our best attempts at goodness are like a light bulb trying to illuminate itself. The paradox is that we know we are something great. We just know it. And we are something really great. But we are unable to attain to that greatness.
In time, we find ourselves incapable of internal goodness. This eventually leads to despair. We cannot become good. Sure, we can do good things. But we are unable to become the people we would like to be. The truth is: We cannot change our nature without following Christ.
Now why is this? It’s because we don’t know what a good person looks like. No one knew until Jesus showed us that good person who behaves well in all circumstances. That is the positive. He is just the opposite of sin. He does what God wants all the time.
Did you know Jesus did not consider himself good? Someone called him good. He asked them why. “No one is good but God,” he said. He was in a live relationship with God, his Father. The Father. That’s where his goodness came from. He loved God and did what the Father wanted. And he seems to believe that we can be like him in this.
He wants to share himself with us. I am the Method, he said. Not just as a model but something more. The Life of God has no measure and cannot be exhausted. He is not diminished in the least by giving all of himself to each of us. This is the great difference between God and us. We are limited but he is not. We can run out of patience, love, endurance. He never runs out of Goodness and Love.
And the Life Power is only Good. There is no room for wrongness with him. He is not part good. Like the sun, he has no dark side.
He knows wrongness is really against our nature. And that human nature was made to be energized by the Divine Nature. That is why Christ came: to show us the way to live that is full of Life and empty of all else.
Only God Goodness will enliven us. There is no other Good, only God.
You keep yourself, you lose yourself.
You give up, you gain all.
You hold tight and you end up with nothing.
You throw your life away and you get it all back and then some.
Jesus threw his life away. He wasted it on common people. After all he had done, no one spoke up for him at his trial. He stood alone. And then he was tortured until he died.
It seemed a miserable end to another good man. Evil had won, again. But he turned it all around by returning from the dead. He convinced his friends he was back and better than ever.
He changed everything. People can’t forget what he said. They may not believe but they are still impacted by that one human life. And why? Because he brought New Life. Sure, to him, it was old as The Tree of Life, even older. But that Life is new to us because we never experienced it before. And again, he thinks we can be like him. He says Follow Me. If we receive him, we can begin to live like he did. Like he does.