15 February 2024 – Ben Cornell, Hope Church

What is Life?

What is life? Do I really have it? Every moment I must breathe, my heart must beat, or death will consume me. Whatever life is, I don’t possess it except as a guest. It’s not really mine. I exist in a state of death – death in abeyance. What I have, at best and with each breath, is another moment keeping death at bay. Death, the master of life. Death, the master of me. It will prevail, every time, in every case, from the tiniest microbe to the blazing sun – death will extinguish life through no effort of its own. It need not lift a finger, such is its inexorable power over life. Life will protest. It will run and shout, but to no avail. It will lose.

There has only ever been one exception to this – Jesus rising from the dead, conquering death to bring us a new kind of life, the kind that exists by default, that wins in the end, that makes life the master of death, bigger, greater, stronger than death, that continues beyond death through no effort of its own.

This is God’s life – infinite, inexorable, unchallengeable, unquenchable, inexhaustible, unbreakable, invulnerable, the fire that consumes death itself. That is the quality of God’s life – what Jesus offers to us, to those who say: Yes, I want to live. I want real life, unbroken, untainted, unsullied.

How precious life is. What would we not do for one more breath, one more beat of our fading hearts if we saw the end at hand? And here is God offering us his own life, not just in dying in our place as Jesus did, but in imparting the quality of his inexhaustible, undefeatable life. To possess it, no fight necessary – simply a word: Yes.