For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead:
15 And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again.
16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
17 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
There is an amazing teaching in this scripture passage. The teaching is that when Christ died we died with him and by inference we rose with him. How am I to understand this?
I certainly did not die and resurrect in a physical or historical way but I did die and was resurrected by God. I want to treat this magnificent event as a myth but not as a myth in how myth is used commonly today.
I might say I play quarterback for the Los Angeles Rams. You might answer “You do not play for the Rams. You just dreamed that up. It is just a Myth in your mind. That use of the idea of myth is really a near totally discounted understanding of the power of the myth in the worlds history.
When I refer to a myth I mean myth as in the myth of”Paul Bunyan” . Paul Bunyan is a mythological man that explains the true history of the setleling of the American North.
In what way does Paul Bunyan picture of what happened historically? Paul Bunyan is huge, That would say that the turning of a massive area of the north from wilderness to a great rich food producing farmland of many square miles in dimension. Doing that was a huge task. Therefore Paul Bunyan is himself huge.
He is accompanied by a huge ox. The ox is a farm animal. That stands for the enormous task was made possible by farm animals. The ox is blue. That may stand for the reality that the task of digging canals so that the abundant supply of water from the rivers could be moved from the rivers to the farmland by the power of oxen. In that way the Paul Bunyan myth is a powerful summary of the great event of creating farmland out of wilderness that would end up feed millions. It gives perspective of the reality of the accomplishment of those people that did the hard settlement work.
The Bunyan myth enriches the miracle of creating all that farmland. It is a myth telling us of the accomplishment of the people of the north . We gain deeper understanding of all those great events.
In the same way the death and resurrection of the people belonging to God tells us of our the deepest and truest nature of our own self. We are all new creatures with all the power inherent in the things that God has given us through the death and resurection of Jesus and our death and resurrection with him.
To explain what I mean I would like to talk about a experience the disciples had with Jesus. The disciples and Jesus were boating when a violent storm came up. Jesus was peacefully taking a nap. As the storm got more and more severe the disciples began to fear for their lives. They woke Jesus up and asked him to quiet the storm. They said “Don’t you care if we die”?
Jesus rebuked them with words that carry an interesting lesson. He said “O you of little faith” and then and then quieted the storm.
In my mind I am troubled thinking “Wait a minute. I thought we were supposed to go to Jesus when we needed help. That is good and accepted way to respond. Still we see Jesus rebuking them.”I think what Jesus wanted them to realize is that God had given them the power to quiet the storm themselves.
We have a misunderstanding about Jesus. We think that Jesus was from God so he had miraculous power we do not have. That means that he was not a man just like us. Jesus was a man pure and simple just like I am.
What gave him the miraculous power was his faith. He called on God exactly like we are all are able to do if we like him, have faith. In other words he wanted them to realize what being a new creature meant. He was truly mankind just like we are of mankind. He did all he did because he had faith in God.
We say that Jesus came to show us what God is like. That is a truly wonderful thing he did for which we all should be very grateful. However, he also came to show us what it means to be a real human being, a new creature. He once said “If you have faith the size of a mustard seed you could move mountains”. He meant exactly that. I have and you probably have grossly under appreciated and under estimated our place in the Kingdom Of God and the plan of God. That is a fact our enemy is very happy about.