articlesqa September 04, 2015 how to live a perfect life
Ifeoluwapo Eleyinafe Article by Ifeoluwapo EleyinafeCreator and author of
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.

So Far

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 Psalms 126:1, just think of the par­ty­ing and the re­joic­ing. Yes, the com­mu­ni­ty re­joic­es for the per­son who came back to life but the com­mu­ni­ty also re­joic­es for her­self for she was dead yet forced to live but now she is alive again and lov­ing every mo­ment of it.

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 John 9:35-38. You keep lis­ten­ing to His Sto­ry and you hear that He suf­fered and died. Be­cause you are in re­la­tion­ship with Him, you suf­fer and die too. An anal­o­gy would be the pain you feel when you hear a loved one tell you about a tragedy they went through or a wrong that was done to them when they were younger. Do you also not feel hurt and be­trayed and an­gry? Do you also not feel pain for them and also for your­self? It should be the same when you hear about Je­sus on the cross. When you hear about His Death, is it the same old sto­ry or do you feel the hurt and shame of it on His be­half? You need to have a deep vis­cer­al re­ac­tion when you hear about Je­sus on the Cross. The more you love Him, the more you be­lieve Him, the deep­er your re­la­tion­ship with Him and the more His Sto­ry be­comes your own and the more you hate your sin that drove Him to the cross and the more you love Him for go­ing.

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 Ro­mans 12:15. The first among those with whom we must weep and re­joice is Je­sus Christ. Die His Death and Rise His Res­ur­rec­tion. Con­quer as He Con­quered and love as He Loved. Obey as He obeyed by suf­fer­ing as He Suf­fered. Be in re­la­tion­ship with Him so that His Life that con­quered death and sin might be­come your own. This is only part of what it means when we say that the work of Je­sus was His Per­son. Yet even this small part is enough to change my life to­day.

Af­ter I grad­u­at­ed col­lege, I moved from my child­hood home to a place where I could count how many peo­ple I knew on one hand. I was Miss In­de­pen­dent. I moved into an apart­ment and start­ing scav­eng­ing the in­ter­net for deals on fur­ni­ture. I end­ed up with a an­tique dress­er set that was stur­dy, but it had a very ugly col­or. I de­cid­ed to take it upon my­self to sand it down and restain it. I mean how hard could that real­ly be? I got the sand­pa­per and went crazy on the dress­er. Af­ter, I ap­plied the stain and let the piece dry. I re­mem­ber look­ing at it and think­ing how much ugli­er it looked. The front of the dr...
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“Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.” - Colossians 2:3