The Meaning of Death

Oct 31, 2016 by

Each Easter, we celebrate the miracle in which Jesus transcended death. Scripture explains that three days after the crucifixion, Jesus arose from his tomb in a magnificent gesture of resiliency. Later, he implored his disciples to go forth sharing the gospel, and then ascended into Heaven. This account of the Resurrection is awe-inspiring, but in relating it to our own lives, do we see these events as something we too are capable of, or do we relegate them to mere myth or legend?

Father Moon asserts that the Resurrection was a very real occurrence, but perhaps not in the way we usually think.

In Luke 9:60, Jesus tells a disciple who wants to leave to bury his father to “leave the dead to bury their own dead.” It is clear that Jesus is not referring just to physical death. Father Moon explains: “In these words of Jesus, we find two different concepts of life and death. The first concept of life and death concerns the physiological functions of [human beings]. The second concept of life and death applied to those physically alive persons who were gathered together for the burial of the father. Why, then, did Jesus indicate that those persons who were actually alive were ‘dead’? It was because, although they were physically alive, they were in a state of death in not knowing God, the source of life, and they had lost the purpose of life.”

Similarly, in John 11:25 Jesus tells us, “[H]e who believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live.” Again, the concept of death and life is discussed as a spiritual state, one that is not tied to whether or not someone has a physical heartbeat. Though someone may lose his physical life, he gains eternal life through Jesus. Father Moon concludes that, “Passing from death to life is resurrection and … begins from the point of believing in God and receiving Jesus’s words.”

He goes on to further explain that Jesus’s resurrection is, in essence, a spiritual resurrection. Though this interpretation is different from what has been traditionally accepted by Christian theologians, his analysis raises some excellent questions: Is resurrection something we can achieve as well? Though we consider ourselves living, might there be some parts of us that are dead? And, if so, what can we do to bring them back to life?

To Be Alive Is a Choice

Easter Sunday, the day we celebrate Jesus’s resurrection, holds extra significance for Unificationists as the day on which Father Moon received his mission to serve God. Much like the Resurrection itself, there are supernatural elements involved—Father Moon recalls receiving direct communication from Jesus with the message that he must continue Jesus’s mission. However, the ultimate choice was Father Moon’s alone. He had to decide whether to live an average, unintimidating life, or the life God called him toward.

The same is true of all of us, in our own way. In writing my song, I started to discover that, through each of my daily choices, I can enable the resurrection of myself and others. I can remember to include God in my decisions. I can choose to see God in others and to treat them as beloved brothers and sisters. I can thank God for the many blessings I receive, and remember that they are made possible by the sacrifice of Jesus and others who have come before me.

As you celebrate the miracle of Easter this weekend, remember that resurrection is not just something that happened thousands of years ago. We have the opportunity to create a resurrection right here and now, in our own hearts. As the song says, “The resurrection’s right inside us/ One voice could make the whole world sing/ Could it be me?”

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