I Believe Jesus Lives Today

2 04 2014

by Linda L. Booth, Council of Twelve Apostles

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” —John 3:16–17 NRSV

Linda Booth

Linda Booth

This year my journey to Easter has been disrupted. While preparing for an evangelist retreat at

Deerhaven Campground in Florida, I was confronted with the question: Do you think Jesus is dead or alive? My initial, faithful response was, “Of course. I believe in the resurrection.” However, as I prayerfully considered the implications of that answer I realized the way I live truly reveals what I believe.

If I think Jesus was an important historical figure who provided a meaningful way to treat others and emphasized justice and mercy for all, his life—while still instructive—is over.

However, if I truly believe Jesus rose from the dead and is now living, then I will know and experience the power of Jesus Christ’s presence in my daily living. Jesus, who was crucified, is now my Living Lord. Jesus, who rose from the dead, is with me, providing instruction through the Holy Spirit.

If I truly believe Jesus lives, then I will be a “true and living expression of the life, sacrifice, resurrection, and continuing presence of Christ” (Doctrine and Covenants 164:4c). My life will reflect Jesus’ concerns and passions for others, and I will witness to and invite others to “become fully immersed in the servant life of Christ” (Doctrine and Covenants 164:3a).

Imagine what would happen if we all truly believed and proclaimed that Jesus Christ lives. We intentionally and naturally would live Christ’s mission of evangelism, compassionate ministries, and justice and peacemaking. Every person we encountered would be so precious that we would be compelled to give and receive ministry.

The promise of resurrection wouldn’t be delegated to one holy season, Lent, or one holy day, Easter. Resurrection would be real—an everyday experience as we live in and through Jesus Christ.

So my day now begins with the proclamation and prayer: “I believe Jesus lives today. Lord, may your love and peace be alive in me this day.” This simple affirmation has become a daily spiritual practice, causing my days to be disrupted as I encounter people and situations in sacramental ways.

My journey to Easter this year also is filled with intense moments of sadness and joy because of my father’s death January 10. My beloved 93-year-old father, who was the longest-serving seventy in Community of Christ history, had passion for the lost and lonely, for those who needed to know God’s love. He knew Jesus Christ lived. He lived accordingly.

During his last year we watched him slowly slip away because of advancing dementia. Many times when we visited him, he couldn’t communicate. Occasionally he would ask if it was time to go to church, or if we knew where his shoes were.

One afternoon I had an unexpected conversation with Dad. He said, “Did you know that God so loved the world!”

“Yes, Dad. That’s one of my favorite scriptures. I try to weave it into all my sermons.”
Several times he repeated, “Did you know that God so loved the world he gave his Son! Well, it’s marvelous. Everyone needs to know that.”

Because we know Jesus lives, I pray that each day we share the marvelous message of God’s unconditional love and grace; that we make sure someone feels loved and experiences the resurrection of new life in Christ.



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