God's grace. We could certainly read a text like this (and many people
do) as a statement on God's wrath and "live a holy life" out of fear of
what God will do to us if we don't. But if we understand that Jesus
received God's judgment on our behalf… once for all (which is at the
very core of the gospel message), then I think we can read a text like
this through a different lens. Read through the lens of grace we can
come to an understanding that living a holy life is not so much about
saving us from God's wrath as it is experiencing the fullness of the
human experience before this unique opportunity slips away.
In churchy environments we often say things like Jesus was "fully God
AND fully human", and most of the time by this we meant that Jesus
experienced the breadth of human emotion, experience, and even
suffering. We speak about it in the context of relationship… as in
God is now able to relate to us and us to him because God experienced
humanity through Jesus. This is certainly true, but I think that it also means that Jesus
reveals to us what it means to be "FULLY HUMAN" by the way he lived.
Simply put, if we really want to experience the fullness of the life
that God has in store for us, then Jesus, by his life, shows us
what this looks like. Jesus shows us the best possible way to live… the way to be most fully human. So
is it possible that the urgency of holy living is really about
experiencing the fullness of the human experience before that
opportunity is gone?