I suppose more than anything else in the world I want to know what it feels like to be in Christ. In his 14th century book, The Life in Christ, Nicholas Cabasilas wrote well developed and Biblically supported explanations of Life in Christ. For example, he started by explaining that when we arrive at Kingdom Come, we will need certain senses that must be formed here and now. Who wants to get there and be deaf and blind? He said that this world of fluid darkness is the womb state for aspiring immortals. I know he is right, and he put it so well. Then he went on to say that union with Christ is described in many different ways in the Bible because each way by itself is inadequate to describe being in Christ. For example being in Christ is more than being in a home, more than being married, more than the relationship of vine to a branch. Life in Christ is like all of these and more so. It’s a mystery. No wonder I don’t know what it feels like.
When Nicholas goes on to explain how baptism and communion make this unity possible I know how that’s true, and when he quotes Paul over and over again, such as when he says’ “in Him we live, and move, and have our being” (Acts 17:28) to support the reality of life in Christ and Christ’s life in us, his words are as reliable the sun. And yet I don’t have to try so hard to feel my family genes in me, and me in my neighborhood or me in my country. I can think what it means to be in Christ but I can’t feel it.
Christ really threw us a curve ball when He came back from his trip to Hades and took the form of a different person. His disciples spoke to him for a while before they even realized that it was Jesus they were speaking to because he looked like someone else. Why did He do that? Was it a trick?
Actually you and I probably know Jesus better than we know anyone else, even our closest relatives because His personality is described so specifically and so consistently in the Bible. Maybe Jesus in me is all that is good, all that is compassionate, all that loves to commune with God the Father. Maybe I can feel Jesus in me loud and clear, even though I don’t recognize Him when I am producing the fruit of the Holy Spirit: love, joy, peace patience, kindness, goodness, longsuffering, mildness, fidelity, modesty, continence, and chastity. Next time I see a fruit blossom and grow from me, I’ll say hello to Jesus. Maybe He’ll smile and say hello back.
I wonder which fruit I will need to make when I am in Him on the Cross.