By: Brittany Fiscus
Reflection—v. 10, like him in his death
The fact that Paul says he wants to be like Jesus in his death is pretty scandalous. Jesus was a man who was publicly and brutally executed by the state alongside two other criminals. It was a shameful, demeaning death without any visible hope for the glory or honor befitting a god. Yet, that is our God. Our God chose to participate in the lives of humans as a poor man who preached on the streets to fisherman and prostitutes, always sought shelter in the homes of others, and was eventually tried and executed by the state. And Paul says, ‘I want to become like him in his death.’ The fact that 2,000 years later this thought is still unsettling means we still aren’t getting it; if the thought of living and dying like Jesus still scares us then we’re obviously still hung up on the wrong things. Because ultimately, in being like Christ, the things that become dead to us are the ways of this world. When we let go of the things of this world that rule us, and instead live more like Jesus did, we die to this world and are resurrected into a new world: a world where an executed homeless man has value, where an imprisoned itinerant can offer moral advice and should be emulated. Will we follow him to his death?
Prayer Christ Jesus, turn our world upside down; lead us into your resurrected world of scandalous and outrageous love.