Death is a Door

We should avoid speaking about crucifixion only. When Jesus used the cross as His mortification metaphor (Lk 9:23), He knew that resurrection was the gift of giving His life away. And this is what we have to remember about mortification. Pain, crucifixion, and death are vehicles to a new kind of life, resurrection life. Not just when I pass from this world to the next, but right here and right now. “That I may know Him and the power of His resurrection” was only possible for Paul because he participated in “the fellowship of His sufferings.” (Phil 3:10) Paul wants us to live in a way that keeps crucifixion and resurrection in balance. "The New Testament," writes Emilie Griffin "is full of it: the self that must be unmade before the real life can take hold, the death that must be died, in faith, before resurrection can begin." This is what Jesus offers us, a way of living that doesn't do everything it can to avoid pain or run from death. No, His way reclaims them, transcends them, and finally transforms them. We must learn to live in this dying and rising rhythm. Crucifixion is only half the story. "It is in dying,” wrote Francis of Assisi “that we are born to eternal life.”