The secret, of course, of having our death as a way to our resurrection is to die with Christ. Only with him can our resurrection, our victory over sin and death, take place after our death. St. Paul encapsulated this most wonderful truth of our faith when he said, “For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his.” (Rom 6,5)
No wonder then that Christ culminated his redemptive work with his passion and death on the cross. Only then would his own resurrection take place. Christ made this point clear when after being rightly identified by Peter as ‘the Christ of God,’ he proceeded to talk about his passion, death and resurrection.
“The Son of Man must suffer greatly,” he said, “and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed and on the third day be raised.” (Lk 9,22)
We have to deepen our belief that with Christ’s resurrection, sin and death have been definitively conquered, and a new life in God is given to us. We are now a new creation, with the power of Christ to conquer sin and death and everything else that stands in the way of our becoming true children of God.
And so we have every reason to think that we can live forever in Christ over whom death no longer has dominion. In spite of whatever, we have every reason to be happy and confident, as long as we are faithful to Christ.
We just need to realize more deeply that Christ is alive and wants to live his life with us, because we are patterned after him. Let us not miss this most golden opportunity.
We therefore have to learn how to keep him alive in our minds and hearts. We have to learn to feel in an abiding way the new life, the new creation he has won for us through the cross.
And this can mean that we have to go through the daily process of dying and rising with Christ. In other words, our earthly day-to-day life should be the precious time of rehearsal for the final and crucial moment of our death. Our death should be a dying with Christ so that we too can rise with him.
We need to be aware of this very important significance and purpose of our life here on earth, and to act on it accordingly. Everything that happens in our life can and should be related to this significance and purpose of our life. Nothing in our life, whether humanly good or bad, right or wrong, is irrelevant to our life’s purpose.
We should be wary of our tendency to degrade our life’s true and ultimate meaning and purpose. That happens when our understanding of our life’s purpose and our reactions to the different events of our life are derived simply from our human estimations of things, as from our senses and emotions alone, or from some sciences or philosophies or ideologies or superstitions.
With these attitudes and frame of mind, we put ourselves vulnerable to despair and helplessness, since we would not be able to cope with all the trials and challenges of life. We would be tying the hands of God who knows how to resolve even our most unsolvable predicaments. We should go through our earthly suffering and death, so that we can resurrect with Christ!*