By becoming a Person, Jesus draws us into His Story and the more we relate to Him, the more His Perfect Life becomes our own.
We’ve talked about how Jesus was fully God and fully man. Because He was fully man, He had a work and in the last article, we said that His Work was to become a person. Now we will begin to dissect a little what that means for us.
Person = Community : Community = Person
As we said before, the work of Jesus was to become a person. A person is the place where being in relationship with God and being in relationship with other people come together. But this definition is looking at things from the perspective of the individual. Lets take a bird’s eye view of the whole matter. When you look and see that someone is in relationship with one person, you say that they are friends. However, when you look and see that someone is in relationship with many people and these many are in a relationship with her, we say instead that we have at least the beginnings of a community. So we can conclude also that the work of Jesus is to be in in Community with God (God the Father and God the Holy Spirit) and to be in Community with us (the Church).
Now communities are odd things indeed. A community is a place where the individual matters as much as the whole. This in fact is the glory of all men and women. Each individual represents himself but also at the same time represents the entire community (See: The Concept of Dread by Kierkegaard). How do we know that this is true? Well when one person dies in a community, what does the community do? The community mourns. Why are they crying? Why are they mourning? Yes, yes the man or woman who has died will be missed. However, something more than that has just occurred. Through the death of this one person, the community will no longer be the same. The community has also died and so when they mourn, they mourn for themselves. Therefore, in the most fundamental way, this person who died is the community for when he dies, the community dies too.
Now this death you could say is only vicarious but go and ask the man who mourns the death of wife and you will hear things like, “When she died, I died too.” So yes, in a way the death of the community from the loss of one member is vicarious. But it is also worse than death because the community has died and yet the community is still alive. This is why divorce hurts so much. This is why disobedience to God hurts so much. This is hell in a nutshell. Adam and Eve died because they left their relationship with God and yet they still had to go on living. This is a fire burning daily even to the bones. It is a maggot that never dies.
But suddenly, this Son of Man who died comes back to life and shows Himself to the community. After the initial shock
Sharing His Story
Now let me hit you upside the head with what you probably already see. By becoming a person, Jesus entered into community with all of those who know and relate with Him. Because He died for their sins, they also died for their sins. Because He suffered for their sins, they also suffered for their sins. Because He was justified by God, they were also justified by God. And when He rose from the dead on Easter Sunday, they rose with Him as well. But even further, because He conquered and resisted every temptation, they are also able to do the same. You will often hear your pastor or preacher say something like “Believe in Jesus and receive His death as your own that you might be forgiven.” Well maybe now it makes a little more sense how salvation works.
By believing in Jesus Christ, by believing His story about Himself, you enter into community with Him
But then you realize that the One who died is now the same who is telling you His story. So you ask Him, “Lord, how are You still here if You have suffered and died?” Then He tells you that death could not hold Him. That He was found righteous by God and rose from the dead. And now comes the difficult part. This is the part where I often falter. I already have difficulty resonating with and feeling His suffering and death on the cross. I can’t even begin to feel and take part in the joy that comes with His Resurrection as well. Am I to believe that just as God raised Him from the dead guiltless, so also God has raised me from the dead, guiltless? Well yes. And because this truth does not resound in my bones, it is a sign to me that I am still very far away from Him. That I have to know Him more and love Him more.
If we are going to be in relationship with someone, then as Paul says, we must weep when they weep and rejoice when they rejoice