Christ’s earthly life represented a mere 33 years—years of healing, teaching, ministry, love, compassion, forming relationships, tears, pain, and, of course, joy.
In that time, the impact He made has lasted (and will continue to last) for much longer than the brief time he spent on Earth.
He was here, with the world as much as one could be for that length of time. And then, in the blink of an eye He was gone; then, in another blink of an eye, Christ had returned, fully resurrected for all to see; on this joyful Easter Sunday! Eventually though, Jesus left once again for Heaven, and will one day return back to Earth.
After each of those arrivals and departures, I’m sure all those around him—those that followed Him, those that feared Him, those that despised Him, and those that loved Him; all had the same question, “What now?”
As Christians, we know how much of an impact those 33 years of Christ’s life had on the world. That’s why we still talk about it extensively today. It’s not something that comes and goes, or is gained at one point in time and then lost. It is a dependable constant that we can rely on.
That one day of pain, torture, ridicule, mockery, betrayal and death that was experienced by Christ has had quite the lasting impression on the world. Not only that, but it has also unlocked the power for us to conquer a consequence that was unconquerable prior to that moment: that of death.
Death used to have the last word in our lives. Once we died, that was it, there was nothing left for us to see, to know, to touch, to hear or to experience. But through Christ’s own resurrection, we know that is no longer the case.
What a monumental moment that was in the history of the world! And it’s certainly a great thing for us, our children, our grandchildren, our grandchildren’s children and all future generations.
When we intentionally enter into discipleship and are determined to imitate Christ in life, it all starts with the little things: Viewing the world differently, through a lens of love as opposed to contempt, hatred, and anxiety; having a heart and concern for people other than ourselves; and devoting ourselves to a life of learning, following, leading, and prayer. In fact the list of examples could go on and on, but these are a few accurate samples of what Christian discipleship might entail.
Living like Christ, especially when first encountering Christ in our life, may seem overwhelming. Someone may have come to us, planted a seed, and said, “You, my friend: God loves you, and God wants the best for you, and God needs your help to make this world a better place. Will you follow me, or if not me, at least get to know God a little better?”
That sounds like a tall task. Of course, if we think of it and view it in a massive overhaul of our lives, our thinking, and our very being, then yes, it may seem like an insurmountable mountain to climb. However, if we start with the small stuff, the tiny changes or tweaks we need to make in our life, then, then we can begin to tackle the bigger stuff.
Slowly but surely we will begin to feel a transformation taking place within us, one that will pull us closer toward a Christ-like life, where we really can begin to make the world a better place, one small change at a time, one day at a time, and one encounter at a time.
What we must realize about the goal of this discipleship life is that it’s not a sprint. Rather, the goal and the “What Now” should indicate that along this lifelong journey we can make the smallest of alterations within ourselves and hopefully impact others. And while doing so, maybe we can begin to realize that our impact could be more life-altering than we think it is.
The little things add up. They, too, can manifest in many different forms.
Maybe we need to be the one to talk to someone about our own relationship with God and how we desire that for them too. Maybe we need to confidently (and not judgmentally) tell someone that if you make this slight alteration in your life, you will feel and be a better person for it. Maybe we are the ones that need to look within ourselves today and ask: What can we change, or alter, or add to our lives that will improve it for the long run?
Maybe we need to tell someone that they, too, are loved. They are loved by a God that sent His one and only son to be with us for 33 years on this planet—a God who taught us, served us, loved us and died for us.
The choice is ours. The direction is up to us. God has given us a clean slate, a chance to write our own story. But, the question still remains: What now?