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Day 43: Living Daily in Reality: The Cosmic Death

by Ernest O'Neill

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Why do we see good and bad in our world? Why do we often witness deeds of heroic unselfishness on the one hand - and then actions of extreme selfishness and cowardice on the other? Because our Creator wants us to see clearly the consequences of the choice we make. This world is a simple demonstration of life lived as if there’s no God – no creator – as if we had made ourselves!

When we live like that we become perverted and corrupted. We were designed to to bathe in the approval of the loving Father who made us to express his only Son, but we reject that whole plan and try to get from the approval of others the sense of self-esteem that we need. This deception develops throughout our being a perversion and corruption that we cannot correct because our whole nature is affected. This is why all our self-help systems and religious observances fail.

All of them require the consistent exercise of our wills, but this is the very place where our failure lies – the despairing cry of human beings is the same in every country – “the good that I want I do not do, but the evil that I do not want is what I do”! If there is a creator we want to do what he thinks is right, but we find ourselves instead wanting to please our peers or our friends. Our little eyes search for the approval of other human beings even though we know they will die like us while our maker will live on.

One might say that we are made to live from the inside to the outside – to get from God’s Son within us what he wishes to do through us; but we instead live from the outside – from what the world around us wants! The creator has put us each here to do something that he has fitted his Son to do through us, but we reject that reality and instead try to do whatever will help us to survive or gain attention. The result is that we become little sponges that soak up the praise of other people or all the material possessions we can get our hands on. It’s as if we cannot help ourselves, however hard we try. What we think is a little misunderstanding on our part about life becomes a basic perversion of our personalities that we cannot change.

God foresaw that our very natures would be perverted and that only he himself could rectify them and remake them: this is the meaning of the statement in the Bible by Paul in Romans 6:6 – “for we know that our old self was crucified with Christ so that the body of sin might be destroyed and we might no longer be enslaved to sin”. Sin is simply living as if there’s no God – living as if he does not exist – as if we are self-existent creatures. Thus our natures have developed to get all we need from the world and our fellow-creatures; we have developed a “body of sin” – a physical and mental organism that operates as if it is on its own – self-dependent – with no maker – no loving Father. It now exerts its perverted habits on us so that we cannot do what we know is right – what we were made to do. Our physical and mental natures have become a “body of sin” that is no longer ruled by our own wills but responds in knee-jerk reaction to the world around us.

This is why God expressed in his son’s death the cosmic death that he suffered in each one of us in eternity – that great present moment that is eternity. He alone can radically change what he has made and what we have perverted. This is the meaning of the cosmic death expressed by his son in 29 A.D. – “for we know that our old self was crucified with Christ so that the body of sin might be destroyed and we might no longer be enslaved to sin”.

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