We have been travelling through the 40 days of Lent. With the final days of Lent now in front of us, Jesus will face his most difficult hours in going to the cross and dying. So for a few moments, I want to focus our attention on what Jesus shows in these final hours of life. Jesus shows resilience while being knocked down.
A 1997 hit song had this line in it: “I get knocked down, but I get up again” (British group Chumbawamba sings the song “Tubthumping” – how’s that for a name!).
Getting knocked down is a universal experience to every person. Life does this to us no matter who we are. The difference is what we do after being knocked down. For Jesus, he got up again declaring, “I am the resurrection and the life. I am the life that will never, never die.” The legend of the Phoenix, too, is a story of about resilience. The bird is reborn out its own ashes. All human beings are knocked down, and all long to get back up. The last line in the song I mentioned is “you’re never going to keep me down.” There is resilience!
When the Apostle Paul was getting knocked down, he said this: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you” (2 Corinthians 4:8-12 NIV). That’s being resilient.
Resilience in a Christian sense is a lived hope – a getting up again based in the faithfulness of God at work in us in the moment. This is not inner strength or self-confidence. It is life at ‘work in us’. Where resilience is displayed, there you will see hope. I’ll have more on this next newsletter. Until then, when life knocks you down, get up (again and again). Be resilient, my friend.
See you soon.
Pastor Peter J. Blank
April Newsletter: April 2015 for Website