We often hear the expression, “Jesus died for you.” If true, and I believe it is, in what sense did he die for us?
Did he die as a blood sacrifice to redeem us from the penalty of sin? No, I can’t accept this for numerous reasons I don’t care to explain here.
I believe he died to show us that death has no hold over any of us.
Why would he do this?
Well, if our greatest fear – death – is just an illusion, then what further excuse do we have not to live deliberately and authentically, in accordance with our own values, instead of simply blindly following the values of the insane culture we live in?
NEO: This isn’t real?
MORPHEUS: What is real? How do you define real? If you’re talking about your senses, what you feel, taste, smell, or see, then all you’re talking about are electrical signals interpreted by your brain.
. . .
NEO: I thought it wasn’t real.
MORPHEUS: Your mind makes it real.
NEO: If you’re killed in the Matrix, do you die here?
MORPHEUS: The body cannot live without the mind.
If you’re killed here, on the planet earth, in the form you presently occupy – that is, in the virtual reality of The Matrix – do you die in the real world (wherever that may be)?
Morpheus demurs to the question.
Jesus, and sages from every other religion I’m aware of, would answer: “No. Morpheus is correct: ‘the body cannot live without the mind.’ But the mind cannot live without the soul, even though our minds – motivated by fear – believe just the opposite.”
And his unequivocal answer would not be contingent upon our particular religious opinions. Eternity is our birthright as human beings. Believe it or not.
“Be without fear in the face of your enemies. Be brave and upright that God may love thee. Speak the truth always, even if it leads to your death. Safeguard the helpless and do no wrong. That is your oath.” (from the film Kingdom of Heaven)
“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more.” (Luke 12:4)
In other words, human beings are not given power over life and death.
If true, then all of the wars fought since human beings first inhabited this planet have been pointless.