Memento Mori

memento mori

There is an old saying that still floats around the cultural discourse; it often pops up in strange places like tattoos and English literature classes: Memento Mori.  It means, remember you are mortal.

The idea behind this motto is to help focus on what is important by remembering you will die someday. It asks “In light of your impending death, is this your best use of time?”  It can be a powerful tool in prioritizing our lives.

Now that I have drawn your attention to it, how long do you plan on living? Or how long do you want to live?

Did you answer the question? If not, then do it.If you didn’t answer “forever,” why not?

There is a verse that everybody knows, and many can recite it by heart:

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.”

But ask someone, what is eternal life? And you’ll find there is a whole bunch of ideas about what exactly eternal life is.  Is it going to heaven when you die? Is it immortality? Is it the resurrection of the dead? Is it playing a harp for all eternity? When do we experience this eternal life?

The night before Jesus died, he prayed for his disciples in the upper room and spelled out very clearly what eternal life is: “And this is eternal life, that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent” (John 17:3)

Well that is far more simple and profound than I thought it would be.  Knowing God through Jesus is eternal life.  If that is true, then I am already participating in eternal life right now.  And you have been too if you are a Christ follower. The rest of our lives this side of the resurrection is living into the eternal kind of life He has prepared for us. And this is the beauty of it: God is Triune, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit living in perfect union, harmony and love from eternity to eternity, and we are invited in to this union.

Let me put it like this, Jesus calls us into relationship with himself and with His Father, and in order to enter that relationship we are given the Holy Spirit.

In Short:  God (Father) sent God (Jesus) so that God (Jesus) could die and raise again in order to prepare us to receive God (Holy Spirit) so that God (Holy Spirit) within us can worship God (Father) through God (Jesus) by means of God’s grace (Holy Spirit) given to us.  We are very much drawn into the Triune relationship of God, we as Christians participate in God’s perfect love as we receive God’s perfect love so that our imperfect love can be made perfect through his Holy Spirit.  Our relationship to The Eternal God of Everything is restored.

As Christians we are in the midst of eternal life, right now.  The question then is; how can we live this eternal kind of life right now? There is not an easy one sentence answer to this question or a guide of five easy steps to experience eternal life right now.  But now that I have put the bee in your bonnet so to speak, a place I would recommend to begin looking for the answer to that question would be John 15:1-17. Go read it. Now. You know you want to.

Memento Mori… and you will be raised from the dead.


Theology for the Noob:

A key Doctrine of Jesus (aka Christology)

Jesus is the Second person of the Trinity, the son of God.  Jesus is fully human, and fully God at the same time.  He isn’t half and half, nor does he switch back and forth between human and God.  Jesus must be fully human and fully God to make atonement for our sins.  Before Jesus came sacrifices were made to cover sin, but a lamb or bull cannot stand in our place for good. In order for Jesus’ death and resurrection to be effectual, once and for all, He must be human, so that he can save humans, and he must be God so that he can save all humans.

Recommended reading:

Is Jesus the Only Savior, by James R. Edwards. Eerdmans 2005.