What if in the interweaving, each of our lives is defined by and interwoven into one another’s lives?
You’ve heard stories of a mother feeling like someone just kicked her in the gut, when, unbeknownst to her, and halfway around the world, one of her children has just died. Or a man or woman on a business trip suddenly sits up in bed out of a sound sleep in the stone cold middle of the night and knows something is wrong with their loved one at home. You could say this is the Holy Spirit waking them up to pray, but this happens to believers and unbelievers alike.
What if this means we are all interconnected in ways beyond which we know or can see? What if there’s no one who can say they are isolated or completely alone — there’s no one who can break off and “go their own way?” What if that’s like saying you are going it alone by walking towards the back of the train, when we’re all on board, going in the same direction, and no one can get off?
What if when Paul says we are all a part of the body of Christ and no one can say to the other “I don’t need you,” he wasn’t just making up something, or speaking symbolically, he was stating things the way they are? What if the body of Christ is more than just an illustration; it’s the truth? We are the body of Christ.
This would also affect the way we think about things like being the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Jesus did not say we are like salt and light, He said we are salt and light. What if these are not metaphors of what we can be or should be if we try real hard or do the right things, but this is what we are, period?
Imagine a teenager struggling with her identity as an adopted child. She now knows both of her biological parents and she’s trying to figure out who she belongs to. What if she is inextricably bound up with all four of her parents? What if they are all interconnected and there’s nothing she can do about that? What if she can tell herself that she’s leaving one for the other, but she can’t? What if, without knowing or acknowledging it, she takes them all with her wherever she goes?
So what is the point of this?
In a couple of days we will be celebrating the death of Christ on what we call “Good Friday.” Here’s the biggest “What if?” of all. What if this is how Christ could actually die for the whole world? This would be more than just symbolic – even more than substitutional – this would be the whole world including you and me – dying with Him.
Suddenly, this is not just a case of: Oh look at Christ over there dying for the sins of the world. Isn’t that nice that He would do that. No, this would be “Oh my God, He died my death. He took me with Him. All of my sins – past, present and future – were truly on Him. Not just figuratively.” What if when Christ became a human being, He stepped into the human matrix; He joined our interconnectedness? He became one with us, and then He took us all with Him to the cross and we all died together there.
What if, when we look at the cross now, we don’t just look at it, we see ourselves on it with Christ? What if in the interweaving, each of our lives is defined by and interwoven into one another’s lives, including Christ’s life, so that on the cross we speak not only of Christ’s death but also our own?