Sunday, 15 December 2013

Journey of Life

One of the common descriptions of a person’s life is that it is a journey. Our journey began when we were born and will end when we die. We all know the date on which our journey began, but none of us knows the date on which it will end. At present, we are further away from our starting-point and nearer to our end than ever before. Whether we realise it or not, we are always moving on this journey, even when we are asleep in bed. Such is our journey through life. This aspect of the human journey is shared by all people. Yet there are other aspects of the journey that are confined to those who trust in Jesus.

In addition to travelling through life, the Christian makes the journey with spiritual life. This means that he or she received new life from God at the time they turned to him in repentance and faith. Then they discovered that there was more to the journey than they could have conceived previously. The Bible uses several word pictures to illustrate this discovery: it is like a blind person receiving sight, it is like a dead person becoming alive, it is like a lame person becoming agile. What these pictures illustrate is that spiritual life cannot be understood until it has been experienced.

Until a person trusts in Jesus they are blind regarding who he really is and what he can do, they are unresponsive to his promises of help, and they cannot engage in spiritual activities. But once they trust in him, they become aware of who he is, his promises become meaningful in their experience, and they delight in the energy he gives to go along the path he has mapped out for them.

A Christian is not only travelling through life in the possession of spiritual life, he is also travellingtowards fullness of life. This fullness of life will only be experienced when Jesus returns; the date of his return is unknown, but one day it will occur. Even if it is not in the immediate future, we are still nearer to that day than ever before. This fullness of life is described by Paul in 1 Corinthians 15:42-44; he says that such fullness will involve the body of each Christian becoming imperishable, glorious, powerful and spiritual – he also adds in verse 53 that immortality will be part of the fullness of life. In a sense, it is hard to explain the meaning of these terms because we have never yet seen or met a person who has them. But the Bible tells us that this fullness of life will be like the experience of Jesus after his resurrection. John assures us that when Christians finally see Jesus, they will become like him – full of life (1 John 3:1-2). That’s a destination worth travelling to in order to experience it.

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