Is Living Longer Really the Goal?

At a recent family gathering I was joking with my family that I expected to live longer than 100 years old. Why not? From organizations to businesses to human life, mankind always looks for ways to prolong what is good. We celebrate 100 years of farms owned by the same family. We celebrate people who live to 100 years of age, and often ask these individuals what their answer is to long life.

The life expectancy for Canada in 2023 is 82.96 years. If you break it down between males and females, life expectancy for men I around 80 years while female life expectancy is around 84 years. Most people love to point out that this number is slowly climbing. We are making progress, we think, by keeping people healthier longer. Scientific studies have been done to determine how to help people live longer.

People have attempted all kinds of things to prolong their life. Some have used magic potions, others have chosen to drink mercury, or played around with DNA manipulation. One pope from the 1400’s asked three young boys to give him their blood. According to the story, all four of them died as a result of this blood transfusion and attempt to lengthen one man’s life.

Is living longer the goal? Is long life the best thing we can hope for or dream of?

What all these people who have dedicated their lives to living longer don’t understand is that longer life is not the goal. Living again is the goal!

We just celebrated Easter. Easter is the celebration of resurrection – life again – specifically the resurrection of Jesus Christ. We celebrate this resurrection because the Bible clearly states that all who put their faith in Him for eternal life will live again. While human death will still happen, we will live forever in a new body with God Himself in a renewed version of the original Garden of Eden. Living longer is not the answer – living again is!

The Bible tells us that Jesus of Nazareth was crucified on a cross, and then buried in a tomb. On Easter morning, first some women and then others, saw Jesus alive. We are told that many people saw Him alive after that. He defeated death. It looked like the grave had claimed him until he rose again, alive, as attested by many people.

That, in itself, is amazing! For someone to die and then rise from the dead is amazing. Some of us may think this was only possible for Jesus because he was the Son of God. He was God. He could do what humans can’t, except that is not the full story.

Jesus said that resurrection was possible if only we believe in him. In John 11: 25, 26, just before Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, Jesus said this to Lazarus’ sister:

Jesus told her, “I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. Do you believe this, Martha?”

Later in the Bible, after Jesus went back to heaven, the Apostle Paul writes that resurrection is possible for us if we believe in Christ.

So you see, just as death came into the world through a man, now the resurrection from the dead has begun through another man. Just as everyone dies because we all belong to Adam, everyone who belongs to Christ will be given new life. (1 Corinthians 15: 25, 26)

I like to write about the church and about leadership and how to do things well, but all of that is in service of this message that by faith in Jesus Christ, we can have new life. New life that begins now, and continues after we die. Resurrection comes after death. So living longer is not the answer. Living again is. When we live again, we will live forever and do not need to fear death ever again.

Living longer is not the goal – living again is!

Keep looking up,

Andy Wiebe

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