How I Want to Live, Now!
‘You wouldn’t believe, Alexey, how I want to live now, what a thirst for existence and consciousness has sprung up in me within these peeling walls.’
Dmitri Karamazov, in Fyodor Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov
‘How I want to live now!’
When I read The Brothers Karamazov, the line that jumped out at me, like a bolt of lightning, were those six words from the lips of Mitya, spoken from a prison, awaiting trial.
Yes – Resurrection life, now. Fullness of gladness, now.
But how do we get life?
We’re so confused about life that we don’t know how confused we are. Peter tells us in Acts 2:36 –
‘Let all the house of Israel therefore know for certain that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified’.
Peter is saying: When you crucified Jesus, you were killing the Lord and the Christ the one coming to bring you new life. And why did you crucify Jesus? Because he was so patently not bringing the life you wanted. You wanted victory over the Romans. What he was bringing was a greater victory and a better life – but you weren’t interested. You were intent on pursuing your own definition of life even if it meant getting rid of the Lord and the Christ.
We’re all in the same boat. We all want to build a life as we define life, according to our own desires, apart from God. And that means we all spurn the Lord of glory. That’s how confused we are about life: we would crucify the only one who offers fullness of gladness.
What do we do?
There is only one thing to do. We acknowledge there is nothing we can do. We come to the end of ourselves – the end of trying to build a life for ourselves and by ourselves apart from God. In other words, we need to die to the self that says ‘I’m going to do life my way!’
And in its place, we receive new life – resurrection life in Jesus Christ. Fullness of gladness, now – within these peeling walls.
‘This Jesus, God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.’