This is the final week of the 50-day Easter season, leading us toward Pentecost Sunday – when we celebrate the moving of the Spirit in the heart of the Church at Pentecost. For that reason, let’s reconsider what it means to live what I like to call an “Open-Tomb Life.”
The Open-Tomb Life is different than the good life, the pleasant life, the comfortable life, the indulgent life, the achieving life, the cultured life, the studied life, or even the selfless life.
It is not a life built on our best human efforts. Nor is it a life that is built primarily around the principles of personal purity, benevolence, or tolerance. Open-Tomb living is about the resurrection of Jesus. The specific “physical life after physical death” resurrection of Jesus. The “if anyone is in Christ, he/she is a new creation” resurrection, that works in the accepting heart to transform a life into a living, breathing, projectile of God’s love into a sleeping world.
Jesus did not rise to make bad people good.
Jesus did not rise to make good people better.
Jesus rose to make dead people live.
Easter living, Resurrection living, is a profound way of being human in the world that is founded on the Easter Christ event and leads to transcendent living.
Here are 7 truths about the Open-Tomb Life.
1. The Open-Tomb Life is a watershed commitment to Christ-modeled living, radiating from our grace-initiated, inner assent to Jesus’ resurrection, and our radical embrace of the new way of life the Spirit is forming within us.
2. The Open-Tomb Life embodies the direction of God’s great, transforming, historic, and new creation plan. We are being transformed as part of a wider, cosmic project. It’s not just about us – it’s about everything being made new.
3. The Open-Tomb Life is an alternate way of being a human being, with both creational stories (love and justice) and redemptive stories (the Jews, Jesus, Cross, Resurrection, New Creation) informing its actions, rooted in a healing, divine Love that flows from within by the Spirit’s grace.
4. The Open-Tomb Life is a life catalyzed by our enacted belief in the resurrected Christ, and our confident expectation of the future hope he paints for the world he loves.
5. The Open-Tomb life neither settles for the impoverished answer to the world’s ills, “It will all end in fire,” nor the equally disoriented, “We are evolving till all is fixed by knowledge.” It is the Jesus of Easter whose work means that “all things will be made new” – not humankind’s work. We have something to do, yet are limited beings. We recognize we are limited, even as we embrace our humanity after the way of Jesus, the unlimited human being (who still embraced limits).
6. The Open-Tomb life is nurtured by worship, fellowship, and missional living. Followers of Christ who withhold worship become cynical and self-limited. Followers of Christ who remove themselves from some form of fellowship, especially with those who are not like them, become independent and self-influencing. Followers of Christ who diminish their missional living, ceasing to care for the poor, communicate good news to the vulnerable, or serve without expectation of return, become disoriented and self-absorbed. The Open-Tomb life pursues, initiates, worship, fellowship, and missional living.
7. The Open-Tomb Life is found by learning to live by the power of Christ in us – walking by faith and not by sight, ridiculous as our age makes this seem. We will carry his words and works into the spheres in which we move. This we will do in humility without apology, confidence without arrogance.
This is the Open-Tomb Life; the life I choose.