Choosing to be Made New

The Geek Squad technician looked at me and said, “It’s dead. Your laptop’s motherboard has failed.”

Of course, my first question was how much it would cost to repair it. I liked this computer. We had accomplished a lot together.

He shook his head. “It wouldn’t be worth it for this old thing,” grimacing with a condescending air. “And if you did replace the motherboard, something else would soon go wrong. This one wasn’t made to be repaired. You need a new one.”

Those were not words I wanted to hear. I didn’t have the money to buy something new, and I truly felt attached to this particular laptop. It felt like an old friend.

When I finally accepted the fact that my beloved computer was gone, I wondered what my options were. I took a look at refurbished ones. It was my wife that talked me out of that. She didn’t trust them and urged me not to. Somehow we got the money, and I ended up with a new laptop.

Why Not Just Fix the Old Thing?

Refurbished technology has become a big business because the new stuff can be so expensive. My wife and I have looked into refurbished phones, but there are always those risks. One article I found gave three reasons to buy new rather than refurbished:

  1. You don’t know the history of the device you’re purchasing. It may look nice on the outside, but it could be a lot older than it looks with hidden problems.
  2. The lifespan of the refurbished device is unknown. The battery life cannot be checked and therefore you are taking a risk on how long it is going to last. Battery life seems to be everything for electronics.
  3. Refurbished devices (for the most part) don’t come with warranties. There’s typically no recourse if it doesn’t work the day, the week, or the month after you purchase it.

While I’m not sure that all three of the above points are true for every refurbished device, the point is that starting with something brand new is overall usually a better experience. It’s just more costly. And so we look for cheaper and easier options to get by. Why can’t it just be fixed?

God’s Plan for Us

I have been doing a lot more thinking about what God has in mind for our lives. He’s not merely wanting to fix us and replace a few broken parts. He wants to make everything new. This sounds great!

That is until we realize the cost.

The New Testament storyline tells us that death must come before new and expanded life. It’s been a sticking point for two thousand years. Jesus wasn’t merely resuscitated after passing out on the cross. He didn’t have a near-death spiritual experience and then wake up to start a new religious movement. Neither was he an ancient form of a zombie, arising to walk around with a half-decomposing body.

No. He was dead, dead, dead.

And then He was made alive, but in a transformed sort of way. There was something very different about Him after His resurrection.

He had a new type of body. He wasn’t merely a spirit or a wraith-like ghost. He was fully physical – ate some fish and let His followers touch Him. They even saw the wounds he had sustained during His execution. But there was also an other-worldly quality about Him. He could suddenly appear and disappear, in and out of locked rooms. His flesh had died. But then it was remade into something more glorious, long-lasting, and completely incorruptible. The Disciples came to the realization that they would all eventually be given new bodies like the resurrected Jesus. He was the “first fruit from the dead” (1 Corinthians 15:20). He had led the way! They understood this to be the glorious hope of all who would put their faith in Him and follow!

This future expectation has the power to lead His followers through anything we might encounter. If we can be assured that death will not have the final word, we can endure anything. The way things are right now is not the way they are going to stay. A whole new form of life and goodness is in our future! Don’t give up!

But like it was for Jesus, there is a death that must come before resurrection.

And nobody really wants to die.

What might death look like?

It’s the end of control, separation from what we know and can manipulate. Voluntary death is the surrender of ourselves, laying down personal fulfillment as the center of our being. And it can be oh so scary to face this prospect! We tend to fight every kind of death we’re confronted with. Death in relationships; death in personal autonomy; death of careers; death of ministries; death of the physical body. Instead, to keep a semblance of control, we work to refurbish, repair, extend and accessorize all the different aspects of our lives to keep death of any kind as far away as possible. And it may work . . . for awhile. But it is coming sooner or later.

God wants to give us new lives, not refurbished ones. And He means for it to begin now, before our physical hearts stop beating. Just as Jesus went through death to step into a whole new way of human existence, God has made a way for us to be united with the death of Jesus so we can begin a whole new way of living, preparing us for eternity. This is what baptism is a picture of.

It’s somewhat like me and my laptop. I had to give up my scheming to merely fix it and instead position myself to receive a new one. God is calling us to let go of the old so that something new can be brought into being within us. Something that’s going to last and never die.

The death of anything for a Jesus follower is never the end. Because we are united with Him, new life is always in our future. It’s difficult to imagine what life looks like beyond the death of what can be seen, held, spent, and controlled. But that is what the hope of resurrection promises: life as it has always been meant to be, eternal connection to the Life Giver. And though we won’t fully experience it in this present body, we can be energized with the hope that one day we’re going to be immersed into a whole new way of existence – in our future incorruptible bodies.

Resurrection Now!

And it’s meant to begin now. Don’t settle for a patched-together, refurbished existence. Let it go. Whatever needs to die – self-righteousness, life-sucking habits, apathy, unbelief, striving to be “good enough,” sin that entangles. Don’t try to fix it. Don’t try to clean it up. Don’t merely put a bit of polish on it to give it a new shine. Let it die. Resurrection, following death, is our promise for a fruitful life. Merely resuscitating ourselves ultimately gets us nowhere.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24 ESV).

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come” (2 Corinthians 5:17 ESV).

Let it come! And let nothing get in the way!

You and I were meant to have completely remade lives. Let’s not settle for anything less.

Response:

  • What in my life am I trying to fix when I need to let it die?
  • How well do I understand the promise of being united with Jesus, both in His death and resurrection?
  • What does it mean for me to die to being in control of circumstance and people around me? What might resurrection life begin to look like in my present existence?
  • What does it mean for me to be a “new creation” in Christ?  
  • Jesus, how would you have me connect with you in both your death and resurrection?

One Comment on “Choosing to be Made New

  1. Hi Jeff thank you for this, My computer is on its last leg also and I know I will have to soon get a new one. It is good that God makes us new. Have a good week. Sharon

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: