…the parched land shall become a pool, and the thirsty lands springs of water…(Isaiah 35:7)

Because He Lives

I, Too, Shall Live

By Rex Goode


jesusartI take my title and subtitle from a favorite Christian anthem of mine, “Open the Gates of the Temple.” It is an invitation for all people to open their hearts to the Savior, comparing our bodies to the temple. The end section borrows from the Handel’s Messiah aria, “I Know That My Redeemer Liveth.”

The final line of “Open the Gates of the Temple” declares, “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and because He lives, I, too shall live!” On this Easter morning, I want to declare my faith in that same promise, but with a twist.

Often, Christian faith is about the promise of heaven, salvation in the life to come. As thoroughly and completely as I believe in this, I would find life too discouraging to think only about that eventual benefit of faith.

For me, it is not just as this song suggests. It is also, “I know that my Redeemer liveth, and because He lives, I too live.” It is about how wonderful I find my life to be now, because of my faith in the promises of God through the atonement and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

“Open the Gates of the Temple”

Words by Fanny Crosby.

Music by Mrs. Joseph F. Knapp

I know that there was a time in my life when my course was leading to death. It’s not that I was going to die any time soon, but there were very few healthy places that my behavior was heading. I didn’t want to go there.

Even if I had stayed that course, I might have survived it, but I don’t really think that the life awaiting me was really living. According to the longings I felt, “living” would have been being a husband, father, grandfather, and enjoying all of the benefits of posterity.

Living would have been free of all of the sorrows brought on by a childhood full of abuse and terror. I think the choice was between two styles of living—victim or survivor. In my heart, I felt that living as a victim would be like death and living like a survivor would have been life. It may be a subtle difference to some people, but it is utterly clear to me.

Whether as a victim or survivor, I lived through several years of abuse. Both victim and survivor remember it. A victim still lives in it. A survivor fights to leave it behind. A victim thinks life is nothing but pain. A survivor uses pain to guide him to better decisions. Victims are constantly complaining. Survivors are full of gratitude.

Victims based their lives and decisions on the things that have happened to them. Survivors know that bad things have happened to them, but they make decisions to improve their lives. It may require scratching, fighting, and struggling all the way, but there is always a sense of hope and faith in the future. Victims feel they have nothing to look forward to. Survivors look forward to a bright future and work hard to make it happen.

That is why faith in Jesus Christ is so crucial to my life. I know that life isn’t perfect. Struggles continue. I get tired when it seems like nothing good every happens easily and bad stuff takes no effort at all. What keeps me going every day is knowing that Jesus Christ has saved me from my sins and that He rose from the dead so that I will also rise. Talk about something to look forward to!

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