We are prepared to live and to live life to the fullest. We are told to push life to the limits, to do and be all that we can be. We are encouraged to live life in the fast lane because you only live once. “Do it while you can. Do it while you’re young. But, by all means, live!”
“Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are American ideals and the American way. And our capitalist system has for sale a myriad of ways to express and experience them all. For monthly installments or a one- time fee, we can describe a period of our lives as a good time “while supplies last.” But, Jesus makes no such claims. He guarantees none of these conditions.
Life with Jesus will involve death and there is no commercial, commercial break or coupon for this. Because his way is not American or any other. He says to disciples then and now, “Those who love their life will lose it, and those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life” (John 12.25, NRSV). Jesus does not hide reality from us. He is not a salesperson but the Savior, “full of grace and truth” (John 1.14).
He does not promise us a good life but he does model a good death.