“For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)
I’m told that the word “compels” carries the idea of “squeezing”, like the walls of a narrow canyon forcing the pace of the rapids, or a bag of icing being squeezed into precise position on the cake. Paul said that he was “compelled, constrained, even pressured” by Christ’s love. It was the force of an idea so intense that it created apostleship and mission.
Martin Luther was ordered to recant his “heresy” or face the consequences. Instead, he said: “Here I stand, I can do no other.” It’s the same experience of the compelling power of Christ’s love. It’s a passionate relationship.
And “We are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died.” Do you see the astonishing grandeur of the vision? Every person on the planet, past, present or future, is gathered into the meaning of the cross of Christ. The death they should have died –the death they deserved- has been taken up by Him. The life that they should have lived is the life that He did live.
The resurrection in which He rose is their resurrection too.
What does that mean? Simply that “those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.”
If Christ is raised, then this resurrection perspective becomes the only way I can see the whole. It becomes the defining characteristic of life.