Jesus is so good at making me laugh. Even when He is talking about something really heavy and challenging, like His own death and mine, how great is His humor and His joy. I never thought before about how He must have snorted a lot of smelly myrrh up His nose with His first resurrected breath!
Both that thought, and many others, came from this beautiful journal entry I recorded after my small group and I asked the question:
Lord Jesus, what did it mean for me when the stone was rolled away?
“That was such a momentous, pivotal, turning-point moment in My life experience. Even though you weren’t there, it affects you because it affects Me and who I am in relationship with you. It affects you the way it would affect anyone if her Best Friend, Father, Brother, Husband, etc. had been raised from then dead before she was born! If it hadn’t happened, I would still be dead and you would not know Me. So even though you do not think about that moment every moment of your every day, it does affect you every moment of every day.
One of the things that shapes My personality, that makes Me “Me” in My relationship with you, is that I have died and risen from the dead. I have that in My past life experience. I have checked it off My bucket list. It was on My bucket list to kick the bucket and come back, and I’ve done it, so now I can have a very long list!
And I know that you have never done that. You have never experienced physical death and resurrection before. If you had, you would be very different. You would be a lot more fearless than you are now. That is one of the primary differences between you and Me and our reactions to the world. Different things seem small or big, scary or not scary, important or unimportant, because of that, because I’ve been through death and resurrection already, and because you haven’t.
And someday, you will: you will die and you will rise from the dead, like Me, physically and fully, and then you will be a whole lot more like Me than you are right now, and it will be a whole lot easier for you to understand Me. But right now, most of the conflict that arises between us arises because I am not afraid of loss and of death and of risking everything and of losing everything and of basically, anything, because I know what it feels like to be resurrected.
I know what it feels like to have every drop of blood in My body poured out, and I know what it feels like to have eternal-life blood poured back in. I know what it feels like to be sealed up in a dark stone tomb with hostile soldiers outside and emerge in one blasting blinding lightning bolt of power. I know what it feels like to be literally dead one day and setting the world on fire the next. I know what it feels like to have soldiers casting lots for My underwear one day and be back on My throne judging the universe the next day. I have experienced these things. They are real to Me.
To you, these are stories, but to Me, they are memories. I can remember what the tomb smelled like, what the angel sounded like, what the dew on the grass felt like to My resurrected feet, what I felt when I heard Mary crying and pressed her into My hug after she thought she’d never see Me again. These things are as real to Me as the furniture you are sitting on right now is real to you.
And that is why I behave the way I do. That is why I am not afraid to ask you to give up everything in your life. That is why you don’t need to hold onto anything. Because I have seen what God does when you have nothing left, and I mean nothing, not one drop of blood left in your body nor one breath of oxygen left in your lungs nor one shred of clothing left on your body or one friend left to stand beside you, no property or possessions or home in this world, nothing but a borrowed tomb and a whole lot of smelly myrrh piled all over your dead nose (it was almost overpowering when I started inhaling again), and honestly, I want you to experience that.
I want you to experience how amazing that was. It was one of the best experiences of My whole life, and I really want to share it with you. I don’t want you to miss out. I don’t want you to never know for yourself what being resurrected feels like. You’ll thank Me later, I promise. But for now, it means you have to die. You can’t be resurrected without dying first. And so, knowing that you have to die, and knowing that when you do, you’ll be resurrected like Me, throw your life away recklessly. Take every opportunity to give. Hold nothing back. Live fearless. Agree with Me about the story I’m writing in your life, a death and resurrection story. It will be worth it, I promise.”